Japan gears up to vaccinate pigs against hog cholera as epidemic continues

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 15, 2019
Adjust font size:

TOKYO, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Revisions to guidelines needed to vaccinate pigs in 10 prefectures in Japan where outbreaks of hog cholera have occurred were made by the government on Tuesday, as local prefectures gear up to inoculate the pigs.

Japan's Farm Minister Taku Eto told a press briefing that the disease had seen more than 140,000 pigs culled and vaccinations will be prepared.

"We will continue to cooperate with the prefectures and steadily prepare for vaccinations. Outbreaks of the disease over the past year have seen more than 140,000 pigs in Japan culled," Eto said.

Prefectures next door to those whose pigs will be inoculated will be informed as to why the vaccination plan is not being extended to surrounding regions to ensure the epidemic doesn't spread further, Eto said.

In the 10 prefectures of Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Gunma, Ishikawa, Mie, Nagano, Saitama, Shiga and Toyama, where the deadly disease has been detected in pigs, municipal governors will create guidelines for the amount of vaccines needed and for which areas.

The guidelines will then be sent to the Farm Ministry for final approval, with the mass vaccinations possibly taking place later this month.

In the wake of Typhoon Hagibis, which pummeled wide swathes of Japan over the weekend, Japan's agriculture ministry has called for local governments and farm associations to ensure that any damaged caused by the devastating typhoon will not contribute to the speed of the disease.

Japan had previously been wary about vaccinating pigs due to the negative impact on its pork product export markets, but in a change of policy, the Farm Ministry intends to not just vaccinate pigs, but urge pharmaceutical companies to increase their output of the vaccines.

No infections of pig cholera have been recorded in Japan since the first outbreak in 1992 and the virus was declared eradicated in 2007, according to official records.

But swine flu, which is also known as hog cholera, was first detected on farms in Gifu Prefecture in September last year, but has been newly detected in numerous other prefectures across Japan.

A vaccine that could have countered the hog cholera epidemic in the first instance and bring it under control was snubbed by the government, with Yasuhiro Ozato, then senior vice farm minister, expressing concern about using the vaccine.

The government at the time advocated for raising hygiene standards, as there was concern that using the vaccine would hinder Japan from regaining its World Organization for Animal Health status and being able to expand its pork exports.

Japan at that time also feared that if the vaccines were used, it would fail to regain its status as a Classic Swine Fever (CSF) free country, which would severely hamper the nation's pork industry. Enditem

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter