Japan’s outbreak of hog cholera continues with 7th case found

TOKYO, Jan. 30 ― Japan’s outbreak of classical swine fever, also known as hog cholera, has continued to spread with a seventh case identified on Jan. 29, since the country first reported the disease in September last year.

The seventh case was discovered in Kakamigahara, Gifu prefecture, central Japan, the agriculture ministry said on Jan. 29.

The announcement was made only three days after Gifu prefecture lifted restrictions of movement and shipment on hog farms on Jan. 26.

“It is so regrettable,” Agriculture Minister Takamori Yoshikawa said at a Jan. 29 press conference. “I have instructed officials to work out new measures for tighter control of the disease.”

Gifu prefectural government immediately requested the central government to dispatch the ground self-defense force troops to the farm to cull and bury a total of 1,662 domestic pigs.

The prefectural government also will cull 132 pigs at a wholesale market in Gifu city, as 17 pigs had been shipped from the Kakamigahara farm to the market on Jan. 28.

Last September, Japan reported the first case of classical swine fever at a farm in Gifu prefecture for the first time in 26 years. Since then, Gifu prefecture has employed measures to stamp out the disease that include movement controls and surveillance within and outside the containment zone.

Wild boars are suspected to be the source of infections, and experts are calling for additional steps to control wild pigs in the area.

Classical swine fever occurs among pigs and wild boar and is not infectious to humans, but it can be devastating the pork industry because pork sales would be severely disrupted.

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