African swine fever: Indonesia hit by virus, raising fears across South East Asia

  • December 19, 2019


African swine fever has spread to Indonesia after affecting China and Philippines to a great extent.

Speaking to reporters, Indonesian’s agriculture ministry informed that almost 30,000 pigs have been victims of the deadly pig virus in the North Sumatra.

The outbreak has greatly impacted China with Vietnam and Philippines witnessing some of the worst outbreaks in the regions.

With the biggest impact on China, the worry of spreading the virus across South East Asia has been increasing. The plague is expected to wipe out more than half of China’s pig herd this year.

Analysts at Rabobank said Vietnam’s pork production is expected to drop by 21% this year, and by an additional 8% next year.

The Philippines could see a 13% decline in its pig herd in 2020, it said. Rabobank put China’s herd loss at 55% this year.

The outbreak has caused the rise in pork prices and even fueled inflation.

China’s most recent inflation figures showed consumer prices rising at 4.5%, the fastest level in nine years, with pork accounting for much of that increase.

Nations have been showing growing concern to the disease and taken measures to contain the virus.

Indonesia’s Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo told reporters that so far the virus has been contained to parts of North Sumatra.

Australia, known for its strict biosecurity measures, is spending an additional A$66m ($45m; £35m) on measures designed to keep the virus out.

Although it’s harmless to humans, the disease can kill pigs within a few days, and the fatality rate can be up to 100%, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The virus is particularly robust, and is able to survive for seven days without a host, and for months in frozen pork products.