Thailand takes measures to prevent African swine fever

The Thai government has decided to spend 148 million baht (US$4.7 million) on precautionary measures to protect domestic pork business, though there has been no sign of the disease in the country. 
Illustrative image (Source: Reuters)
Illustrative image (Source: Reuters)

Chief of the Livestock Development Department Sorawit Thaneto said the department is working with other agencies to stay alert against the outbreak of African swine fever, which has spread from Europe and Africa to three Asian countries such as China, Mongolia and Vietnam. 

Thai travellers to neighbouring countries are warned against bringing processed pork like fermented pork and sausages back home. 

Police and livestock officials on June 8 raided a house in Bangkok where they found 558 frozen pigs weighing 1,400 kg in two refrigerated rooms. 

The seizure has sparked fears of the outbreak as the meat is believed to have been smuggled in from neighbouring countries. 

The owner was arrested for failing to present documents indicating the source of the pigs and proof that the meat had been inspected by officials. 

The Thai Ministry of Agriculture estimated that if the disease infects half of the swine population, the economic damage will total 32 billion baht (over $1 billion).  In the scenario of an 80 percent swine infection rate, the loss could double. 

Thailand raises over 2 million pigs and exports nearly 40 percent of them to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar each year.

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