African Swine Fever Update

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ASF to pull down total global meat production in 2019

21 November 2019 Global meat production will decline by 1% this year to 335 mt, the Food and Agriculture Organization forecasts in its latest Food Outlook (FAO) report. The FAO noted that this is a departure from the stable growth the sector has recorded over the past 20 years. It also indicates a sharper fall than what the agency anticipated in May, largely due to the impact of the ASF in China and its spread to several other East Asian countries.

Australia, Southeast Asia collaborates on ASF

21 November 2019 The Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) is hosting scientists from Southeast Asia for training on ASF diagnosis and prevention, ABC News reported. As well as trying to prevent the spread of ASF, AAHL is also involved in capacity building in Southeast Asia. Sri Handayani Irianingsih, a virologist from Indonesia, said that such collaboration between Australia and the region is vital. She noted that with the country preparing for an ASF outbreak, such training will help diagnose the disease quickly and help farmers control and eradicate.

Holistic approach to address ASF

Industry practitioners have noted that a holistic approach is necessary to properly address ASF. In EU nations that have battled ASF, such approach has historically included procedures for moving animals across the farm and to different sites, disease monitoring and citizen education. Click here to learn some of the procedures implemented in the EU that can be considered for implementation on Asian farms.

Indon pig farmers await statement on suspected ASF in North Sumatera

20 November 2019 Pig farmers in Indonesia are waiting for the official statement from the government on whether the death of pigs in North Sumatera is due to ASF. The number of dead pigs in the province is believed to have reached 6000 heads. At a seminar by the Solo Pig Farmers Cooperative in Central Java yesterday, a panelist from an agriculture university said the veterinary research agency in the province has performed clinical, pathological and lab tests. “As a researcher and academician I can only say from 12 samples checked, they don’t contain CSFv and PRRSv genetic materials,” he revealed.

China to investigate illegal ASF vaccines

20 November 2019 China’s Ministry of Agriculture will launch an investigation into the illegal production, sale and use of ASF vaccines in the country, Reuters reported. The move comes after online reports of their use by some farmers. The ministry has earlier warned against the use of such products, following reports that imported and homemade products were being used in China. Despite some advances reported by several research groups, to date there is no approved vaccine against the disease.

China to release pork reserves at ‘appropriate’ time

19 November 2019 The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission said it would release its stock of frozen pork reserves to the market “at an appropriate time to meet public demand,” a report by Xinhua said. With the Chinese pork industry decimated by ASF, the government also stated that it would also use funds from the central budget to boost hog production and scale up breeding farms and improve waste utilization. China is also expected to increase its imports of poultry, beef and mutton to bridge the supply gap from pork.

PIC Asia sees growing business despite ASF

19 November 2019 Genus Plc said as pork prices continue to rise in China, it has raised demand for its genetics. It noted that royalty revenues from its porcine unit, PIC, have been growing across all regions during the four months ending October 31. While the company continues to monitor the spread of the virus in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia, it expects its PIC Asia unit to “increase profits in fiscal year 2020 compared with the prior year.

China pork production to drop 10-15% further in 2020

18 November 2019 With ASF expected to continue spreading in China, the country’s pork production is likely to drop by 10-15% from 2019 levels, Rabobank said in its latest Global Animal Protein Outlook. Nevertheless, pig farms, especially large-scale farming companies, are expected to begin restocking despite the high risk of reinfection. China’s government has been implementing policies to encourage production. With prices soaring and the favorable policies, Rabobank said investments in restocking and new farms will surge beginning 2020.

Philippine pork imports down due to higher global prices

18 November 2019 The Philippines imported 254,890 tons of pork in the first nine months of 2019, down nearly 8.4% year-on-year, latest data from the Bureau of Animal Industry showed. Industry leaders blamed higher pork prices in the global market due to China’s higher demand for pork imports for the decline. With over half of China’s pigs lost to ASF, the country has been scrambling to fill the gap with imports. An importer in the Philippines told Asian Agribiz that prices will continue to be high in the coming months. With the country also battling ASF, he said it is likely that shortages are forthcoming.

ASF to continue impact on global protein market in 2020

November 15, 2019 Overall production of beef, pork, and chicken in key regions will grow in 2020, but volume will remain well below pre-ASF outbreak levels, Rababonk said in its latest Global Animal Protein Outlook. ASF will continue to pull down overall growth in production and bring uncertainty to the markets. China’s pork production is seen to decline further in 2020 due to ASF, which is also expected to spread further Southeast Asia. However, Rabobank opportunities for recovery from ASF, which it says will extend through the 2020s.

Residents told not to bring pork from Timor-Leste

November 15, 2019 The local government of Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara has appealed to its residents not to bring in processed meat or frozen pork from Timor-Leste, even though prices may be lower. This is specially directed to six districts which are engaged in extensive meat trade with Timor-Leste. The government fears this could facilitate the spread of ASF into Indonesia. The local government previously issued a circular asking all regions in the province to be vigilant against the entry of the virus from Timor-Leste.

China pig industry to recover stronger, more efficient

14 November 2019 China’s pork shortage due to ASF is likely to continue until 2025, but its pig industry will likely emerge stronger and more efficient when it recovers, said research firm Gira. In a market analysis commissioned by the US’ National Pork Board, the firm predicts that China’s pork imports will peak in 2022, and then slowly decline as domestic production recovers. By 2025, China’s imports will drop as the newly built and vertically integrated Chinese pork system peaks, and prices fall.

African Swine Fever Manual released in China

14 November 2019 ASF Boehringer Ingelheim China has launched The African Swine Fever Manual. After China was hit by ASF in August 2018, the company worked with experts and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association to review relevant publications and research papers to expand an existing handbook into the new extended manual. At the launch in Nanjing, Boehringer Ingelheim China donated 500 copies of the manual to disease control agencies in Jiangsu, Hunan and Hebei provinces and local pig farmers to help curb ASF spread.

Hog prices rise to record highs in Vietnam

13 November 2019 Hog prices, and consequently pork prices, across Vietnam have been hitting all-time highs in the last two weeks. As such, consumers are now getting less pork for their money. “The price crisis is already here. Price has been predicted to be this high and will continue to rise,” Nguyen Tri Cong, Chairman of Dong Nai Livestock Production Association, told Asian Agribiz. “Consumers have shifted to chicken and seafood, but this will only be temporary. They will always get back to pork,” he added.

ASF feared in Indonesia

13 November 2019 Laboratory tests conducted on samples from pigs in Indonesia’s North Sumatera province point to ASF. The tests were carried out after 4000 pigs died after an outbreak of hog cholera. “Clinical symptoms and laboratory test results point to ASF, but there are also samples that are positive for hog cholera,” Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rassa, the agriculture ministry’s Director of Animal Health, told Reuters. He said the government has directed authorities to immediately bury pig carcasses and disinfect areas to prevent the virus spreading.

Philippines gets USD 4.4m to compensate pig farmers

12 November 2019 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the use of a USD 4.4m contingency fund to compensate pig farmers whose animals were culled due to ASF. The funds, which will come from the Office of the President, will be used for backyard farmers and would cover about 5% of the country’s total swine population estimated at nearly 13 million. The Department of Agriculture currently pay about USD 100 for every pig culled due to ASF.

China to shut down small slaughterhouses for ASF control

12 November 2019 China’s Ministry of Agriculture will reduce the number of small-scale abattoirs to better control ASF, a report by Reuters said. In a statement on its website, the ministry said it will start inspecting slaughterhouses in some regions by mid-November. And close those that do not meet requirements. Many small abattoirs in the countries have old facilities and still use old production techniques.

After the ASF crisis: A path forward via high health production

Swine producers in Asia stand at a crossroads with serious implications for long-term herd performance and producer profitability. Today’s ASF challenge demands aggressive biosecurity measures to bring the situation under control. In the future, swine producers will be challenged to minimize the risk of future ASF outbreaks while maintaining the biosecurity safeguards put in place during the present crisis. Trouw Nutrition’s Herman Janssen explains how an approach known as ‘high health status’ production can help swine producers meet production and economic goals while leveraging the benefits of good biosecurity. Successful application of high health status production on the farm begins with farm biosecurity and is amplified with precision nutrition strategies. Click here to read the full article.

In the aftermath of ASF and other disease outbreaks, the most efficient and secure way to implement a high health status herd is to repopulate using well-adapted animals with a high immunity status and resistance against local pathogens.

Global pork prices continue uptrend

11 November 2019 Global pork prices will continue to rise in Q4 2019 and into 2020 as markets work to balance supply and demand, Rabobank said in its Pork Quarterly Q4 report. “Despite rising economic incentives, we expect a limited global production response, as environmental and regulatory constraints, along with the threat of ASF, constrain the industry’s ability to expand,” said Christine McCracken, Senior Analyst for Rabobank. The imbalance is expected to lead to more volatile markets in the coming months.

China’s COFCO to buy USD 100m of Danish pork by 2020

11 November 2019 China’s COFCO will buy USD 100 million of pork from European pork producer Danish Crown in 2020 to help ease a domestic pork shortage due to ASF, Reuters reported. The state-owned company said it would diversify sources of pork imports and product variety and make purchases more sustainable. While Danish Crown said no volume has been agreed yet, the deal is “one of the biggest” in China in a long time.

ASF-affected countries in Asia face difficulties in replacing lost production

8 November 2019 Pig industries in ASF-affected Asian countries will face difficulties in replacing lost production, at least in the short-term, Rabobank noted in its latest Pork Quarterly Q4 Report. Without an effective vaccine, recovery in these countries will be challenging. Nevertheless, there are efforts to expand production particularly in China’s largest operations that has better biosecurity controls. Rabobank said that “successful repopulation of large commercial operations could stabilize market losses in 2020, but full recovery could take several years.” It expects production to rebound in 2021.

Philippines has culled 70,000 pigs due to ASF

8 November 2019 The Philippines has culled over 70,000 pigs due to ASF, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said. This represents 0.55% of the country’s inventory of 12.7 million pigs. Of the total culled, only a third were infected with the ASF virus. In its report to the World Organization for Animal Health, the country confirmed 40 outbreaks to date in Luzon, the bulk of which are in Bulacan and Pampanga provinces. Reildrin Morales, head of the DA’s ASF Crisis Management Team, said the local pig industry has lost nearly USD 60 million since the August this year due to ASF.

ASF gets Brazil ticket into Chinese offal market

7 November 2019 China has approved pig offal shipments from seven plants in Brazil, which could result in USD 2 million worth of shipments by 2020. Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture noted that this is the first time the country got access to the Chinese offal market. JBS SA and BRF SA are among those granted permission to start shipments immediately. As of October 2019, Brazil pork exports to China grew by 38% with revenue up 67%.

Two Malaysian restaurants serve pork from ASF-hit country

7 November 2019 Two restaurants in the Klang Valley in Malaysia were found to serve suckling pigs from Vietnam. Malaysia has banned the import of pork and pork-based products from 10 countries including Vietnam because of African swine fever. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said the discovery was made during a raid on 31 October. The raids are part of the government’s effort to prevent the spread of the ASF virus that could adversely affect the USD 1 billion pig farming industry here according to Mr Sim.

Global pork remains on wait-and-see mode

6 November 2019 The global pig herd is down 25% due to ASF, but pig producers remain “cautiously optimistic on the potential market demand for pork,” Rabobank said in its latest Pork Quarterly Q4 report. It noted that “the allure of potential record-breaking exports has, thus far, been outdone by the risks.” Uncertainty arising from issues like restrictive trade policies and inconsistent export demand discourages production expansion. However, Rabobank expects that a 5-10 mt global pork deficit in 2020 may give the industry enough economic incentive to increase production.

Mekeni Food Corp to trace ASF source

6 November 2019 Mekeni Food Corp in the Philippines has vowed to trace the source of the ASF virus that made it to their products. The hotdogs and skinless longganisa from the company tested positive for ASF. Mekeni voluntarily recalled all its pork-based products on October 26. Operations of its pork-based processing area have also been suspended and the facility has been cleaned and disinfected. The company said it has engaged a third-party company to swab and test the facility to make sure it is virus-free before resuming operations.

Australia bars Vietnamese traveler over pork haul

6 November 2019 Canberra has deported a 60-year-old man from Vietnam at Sydney airport for carrying 4 kg of moon cake with pork without declaring it. Australian Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said the ban on most pork-containing products from ASF affected countries is to prevent the disease from reaching Australia and to protect the country’s 2700 pork producers. Last month, Australia expelled a 45-year-old Vietnamese woman for carrying more than 4.5 kg of pork. As of September, the country’s customs have seized 27 tons of pork at the airport.

DA confirms tested Mekeni products positive for ASF

5 November 2019 The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has confirmed that samples of hotdogs skinless longganisa from Mekeni Food Corp tested positive for ASF. Bureau of Animal Industry officer-in-charge Ronnie Domingo said the samples were sent by the processing company las month. He added that the DA and the Department of Health (DOH) are organizing a team to further investigate related matters. Meanwhile, DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo said the next step in the investigations is to find the source of the Mekeni raw materials.

A quarter of the world’s pigs could die from ASF

05 November 2019 A least a quarter of the world’s pig population could die as ASF spreads further, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said. Such losses would lead to global pork shortages that would consequently jack up prices of pork and pork-related products, said OIE President Mark Schipp. He noted that while the species will not be lost, ASF is “the biggest threat to any commercial livestock of our generation.”

Visayas, Mindanao assured of pork supply

05 November 2019 Local authorities and industry stakeholders assured consumers in the Visayas and Mindanao of enough supply of pork and pork products for the coming holiday season. Rolando Tambago, President of Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperatives Cebu alone already has four big meat processors who said they will begin displaying Christmas hams by end-October. He said these processors also improved production capacities so they could also supply Luzon should the need arise.

OIE expects more ASF outbreaks

04 November 2019 The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has projected the spread of ASF to get worse in the next few months. OIE Director General Monique Eloit told Reuters that it would spread further in Asia. It has already been found in 50 countries, affecting hundreds of million pigs. She also warned that no country could consider itself immune to the disease as it had the potential to spread to all countries, even when geographically separated.

North Sulawesi anticipates entry of ASF virus

04 November 2019 The Agriculture Quarantine Agency of Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province has formed a special team for preparedness and emergency towards ASF. Junaidi, who heads the agency, said the team is actively communicating about the disease to users of quarantine services and to society through different media. Together with related authorities, the agency has strengthened inspection of travelers and their goods at the Sam Ratulangi airport and seaports in the province, as well as leftovers from airplanes. Detained foods will undergo PCR testing.

Pig vet group calls for concerted efforts against ASF

01 November 2019 “When faced with a threat like ASF, we need to be together and endure,” Zoilo Lapus, President of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners, said in response to the decision of local meat processors to temporarily stop buying local pork as raw material. Dr Lapus said that while they are not against legal imports from ASF-free country, they “want to emphasize the need to prioritize from within” and that there are many ASF-free areas in the country that can still supply the pork demand.

Singapore lifts ban on Belgian pork

01 November 2019 Singapore has lifted its ban on Belgian pork imports according to Belgian Minister of Agriculture Denis Ducarme. The ban had been in place since December 2018 when the ASF virus was detected in the province surrounding Belgium-Luxembourg. India and Vietnam recently lifted the ban from non-ASF affected Belgian regions prompting Singapore to do the same. Singapore had previously imported 482 tons of products (in 2017) from the Belgian pig industry.

Indonesian adopts more measures to prevent ASF

01 November 2019 The Agriculture Ministry in Indonesia is urging pig farmers to improve their farm biosecurity to keep ASF out. They also should implement good pig farming practices, said I Ketut Diarmita, Director General of Livestock & Animal Health. “Our responsibility is to educate them and share information on how to implement the right biosecurity and farming practices,” he added. Dr Diarmita also asked high-risk regions such as East Nusa Tenggara to strengthen their monitoring.

Philippine meat processors urged not to use local pork

31 October 2019 The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc (Pampi) has urged its members to temporarily stop buying “locally produced pork as raw material to contain the spread of ASF.” Pampi spokesman Rex Agarrado said that the group believes it is safer not to buy local pork until producers can assure authorities and consumers that their product is ASF-free. It has also “decided to halt all purchases of pork materials from local producers until such time that clear and enforceable policies on movement, distribution and sale of processed pork products are in place.

East Nusa Tenggara tightens ASF preventive measures

31 October 2019 The Agriculture Quarantine Agency has installed disinfectant mats at the El Tari Airport to block the further entry of ASF. “The airport team and customs staff also check goods carried by the passengers. If they carry pork or food made of pork, these products will be detained for inspection,” said Head of the agency, Nur Hartanto. The agency also has coordinated with airlines to destroy food leftovers and waste from flights.

Ireland seeks Asian opportunities in light of ASF

31 October 2019 Ireland’s food agency Board Bia is researching opportunities for Irish pig meat in Asia as ASF spreads in the region, a report from said. The agency’s food division wants to identify market potentials in five countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. While Thailand remains ASF-free, it is not expected to escape it. Peter Duggan of Bord Bia’s meat division said that without an ASF vaccine, “it is going to take a long time for these countries to recover,” and that “there will be ongoing opportunities” for Irish pig producers

Sarawak detects ASF in canned pork

30 October 2019 The Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) said in a statement that the African swine fever (ASF) virus has been detected in imported canned pork from China. However, no ASF infection in pigs has been reported in the state and the detection of the virus has not changed Sarawak’s ASF-free status, the department said. Following this development, the department and other agencies will be conducting checks at all supermarket and any affected products would be removed.

Vietnam tames pig price by halting exports to China

30 October 2019 The price of pigs in Vietnam has slid after two weeks of continuous increase. Live pork is currently at USD 2.36 per kg, down by USD 0.43/kg from last week’s peak price. The cause of the price reduction is the timely move by the Ministry of Agriculture to clamp down on pig exports to China. This has reduced concerns about supply shortages and reduced the risk of ASF spread which both Vietnam and China have yet to control.

Indonesia introduces technical measures to keep ASF out

30 October 2019 Indonesia’s Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health has been working hard to keep the African swine fever (ASF) out. I Ketut Diarmita, Director General of the directorate said his team has prepared and performed technical measures including quick detection, swift reporting and proper handling. “This disease has spread to many countries and there is no vaccine to control it. It’s a big threat to our pig population of around 8.5 million heads,” he said.

Recovery of China’s pork industry to take 5-7 years

29 October 2019 China’s pork industry will take at least 5-7 years to recover from ASF, global financial institution INTL FCStone said. “There are so many variables, such as when researchers can develop a vaccine. That would certainly impact the recovery. But one way or another, it’s going to take time,” said INTL FCStone Chief Commodities Economist Arlan Suderman said. One of the biggest obstacles in recovery is convincing producers to return to production, with a high risk of reinfection and the losses observed in past year. Many farmers have substituted chicken for pigs, while others have abandoned livestock farming altogether.

Conduct a feedmill scan

Critical raw materials and feed hygiene conditions in the feedmill may introduce pathogen risk to the swine farm. At the mill, pathogens may be present in both raw materials and finished feed. Trouw Nutrition developed a Feedmill SCAN to safeguard against microbial pathogens and mycotoxin risks infiltrating raw materials and feed. The Feedmill SCAN includes technologies to define a microbial, mycotoxin and efficiency blueprint; this includes an analysis of raw materials to test for the presence of Salmonella, yeast, molds, and potential pathogens at critical control points during processing. Based on the scan, the need for feed safety and quality measures will be identified. Part of the solution can be buffered and synergistic organic acid application and dosing equipment in combination with the right hydrothermal treatment. In Asia’s warm, humid climate, controlling for temperature and moisture levels during feed processing can be especially challenging, so this holistic approach combining ingredient analysis, hydrothermal treatment and buffered and synergistic organic acid interventions at the feedmill provides an important solution to fight pathogenic risks. Click here to learn Trouw Nutrition’s seven tools against ASF.

ASF pulls down pig prices in the Philippines

29 October 2019 As ASF continues to spread, farm prices of pigs in Luzon, Philippines have fallen from USD 2.24-2.50/kg in late August to USD 1.56-1.95/kg in the third week of October. Industry leaders told Asian Agribiz that demand for pork is down, with consumers shifting to chicken at least temporarily. Nevertheless, retail prices in both wet markets and supermarkets remained the same as pre-ASF levels.

Decline in pig herd cause for lower feed import

29 October 2019 With more than 5.5 million pigs culled due to ASF in Vietnam, import of livestock feed and raw materials has declined. In nine months, Vietnam’s feed import has reduced by 2.2% over the same period last year. The Ministry of Agriculture expects feed for 2019 to contract by 4%.

Vietnam needs 5 years to reestablish pig herd after ASF

28 October 2019 ASF has caused an 8.3% decline in Vietnam’s pig population. While the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is encouraging restocking, experts say it is not feasible based on repeated failures recently. Localities are still hesitant to lift the ban on re-stocking, especially in farms that have been affected. “Even with the correct culling process, it will take at least five years to restock in these areas,” Nguyen Tri Cong, Chairman of the Dong Nai Livestock Production Association told Asian Agribiz.

Kemin offers in-feed solution against ASF

28 October 2019 Kemin Industries, in partnership with the National Institute of Veterinary Research (NIVR) of Vietnam, has claimed the effect of Sal Curb RM E Liquid (Sal Curb) against the ASF virus (ASFv) when applied to animal feed. With the unique combination of formaldehyde and organic acids, Sal Curb disrupts the viral envelope of the ASFv and inhibits its viricidal activity. “Together with increased biosecurity, Sal Curb can help reduce the potential risk posed by ASFv,” KinKen Chew, Product Manager told Asian Agribiz.

Processed meats test positive for ASF

28 October 2019 The Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry confirmed that some processed meat products have tested positive for ASF. The products included popular fares like hotdogs, longganisa and tocino. The announcement came just days after the Department of Interior and Local Government directed local government units, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao, to lift their bans on processed meat and pork products originating from Luzon. The Agriculture Department said the products were produced by a medium-scale meat processor in Central Luzon but did not name the company.

Retailers warned about online sale of pork products

25 October 2019 The Philippine Department of Agriculture has warned online sellers not to sell pork products coming from ASF-infected countries. Agriculture Secretary William Dar called on consumers to report instances to authorities. He said those caught selling will be banned and will face severe consequences. Government authorities such as Cebu province’s ASF Task Force are now monitoring online platforms to prevent these sales from happening.

Philippine feed group sees lower feed wheat imports

25 October 2019 Higher local production in Q4 2019 and the first half of 2020 and lower hog feed demand due to ASF will likely lead to lower feed wheat imports. Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc President Terence Uygongco told Asian Agribiz this would be for the 2018/19 marketing year. Reacting to a USDA forecast that feed wheat imports will fall by 500k tons due to a 10% reduction in hog feed demand, he said it is still too early for such a forecast to be made since there are other factors that could affect import volume.

Malaysia confident ASF outbreak can be prevented

25 October 2019 A simulation exercise aimed at increasing the level of awareness of African swine fever (ASF) among the authorities and pig farmers, and facilitating better coordination among agencies, was conducted in Malaysia recently in the event of an outbreak. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said the chances of an outbreak could be minimized if good biosecurity and precautionary measures are taken. This include measures such as disinfecting all lorries going into the farms, minimizing visitors and avoiding swill feed

Protect water quality

Farm practices such as burying pigs in the ground can contribute to pathogens being transmitted via rainwater run-off. Similarly, disposing of carcasses in rivers can also facilitate transmission. ASF contamination can infiltrate water and the dose of virus required to infect water is quite low, making sanitizing procedures a must. Combining chlorination with an organic acid to keep the pH low and maintaining water oxidation reduction potential (650 mV) can help protect water quality. Click here to get learn more about Trouw Nutrition’s seven tools to prevent ASF.

Smuggling of infected hogs spreading ASF virus

24 October 2019 Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar has warned that the agency will file cases against hog raisers and traders caught smuggling hogs from ASF-infected areas into virus-free areas. He said this illegal practice is contributing to the continued spread of the virus, which is said to be moving northward from the initial ground zero in Rizal province. He called on all stakeholders to work together to contain the virus and control its spread for the good of the industry.

Mavin plans to support pig re-stocking in Vietnam

24 October 2019 Mavin Group has secured its 2000 GGP, 4000 GP and 23,000 breeding sows from the ASF virus. “It is all thanks to strict biosecurity,” said Dao Manh Luong, Mavin’s CEO. Mavin is planning a supply of about 10,000 sows, 60,000-70,000 piglets, for farmers in the North and North Central region as they commence restocking. “I would like to remind farmers that when they decide to restock, they should implement strict biosecurity, or face more loss,” he added

ASF hits two more Philippine provinces

23 October 2019 Philippine Agriculture Secretary William Dar has confirmed that two more provinces have been hit by ASF. Pigs from two barangays in Dasmariñas, Cavite and a municipality in Nueva Ecija have tested positive. Mr Dar said the infected animals were culled and the necessary protocols to contain the outbreak has been implemented. He said national and local authorities have been vigilant in monitoring the spread of the virus, but efforts are being undermined by unscrupulous producers and traders who continue to defy restrictions on the movement of infected animals and products.

Pork price reaches new high in Vietnam

23 October 2019 The price of pork in Vietnam has hit a new record recently. From October 8-10, the price rose to USD 3.02/kg from USD 2.58/kg, and the momentum is expected to continue. Price increases are seen in all markets, and mostly in traditional markets. In supermarkets, the price increase ranges from USD 0.65-0.86/kg depending on cuts. Predicting the situation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working on the solutions to tame the price. This includes importing, restocking, and pushing production of alternative animal protein.

South Korea targets to kill wild boars to control ASF

23 October 2019 South Korea has sent military snipers and civilian hunters to its northern border to eliminate virus-carrying pigs wild boars encroaching from North Korea. Earlier in October, five wild boars found dead near the border tested positive for ASF, hinting that the virus spilled over from the north, where unofficial reports indicate the disease spreading out of control. The government will also use thermal vision drones to search for pigs infected with ASF near the civilian control line, a buffer region near the strip of land dividing the Korean peninsula.

Destroy and dispose of diseased animals

Diseased animals must be destroyed, and deceased animals must be properly disposed of to protect biosecurity. Unfortunately, the practice in many parts of Asia has been to move diseased hogs to market which actually speeds up spread of the ASF virus. The spread of ASF must usher in new methods for disposing of animals. Click here on to read about Trouw Nutrition’s seven tools to prevent ASF.

ASF seen to pull down feed consumption in the Philippines

22 October 2019 The ASF outbreak in the Philippines will likely result in a 10% reduction in hog feed demand, the USDA said a report on the country’s feed and grain supply. This in turn will lead to a drop in the country’s feed wheat imports by 500,000 tons in marketing year 2018/19 to 7.1 million tons. In June 2019, the Philippines imposed safeguard and biosecurity measures for plant-based feed products from ASF-declared countries.

DLD urged to clarify culling of pigs

21 October 2019 Around 50 pig farmers in Thailand’s northern province of Phayao have given the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) two weeks to clarify prevention measures against ASF. This followed the culling of 400 pigs in Phayao without any proven test for ASF. The group wants the government to stop culling pigs until the prevention measures are clarified. They are also seeking compensation for culling without the ASF test.

China pork prices up 70% year on year

21 October 2019 China’s pork prices are up nearly 70% from the same period last year, data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed. With pork accounting for about 70% of the country’s meat consumption, the price rise pushed up Chinese inflation to 3% in September from 2.8% the month before. According to CNN, the country’s pig herd has shrunk by some 130 million pigs since the ASF outbreak began in August 2018. The higher prices are forcing some Chinese consumers to switch to other protein sources.

Vietnam, which has been largely self-sufficient in pork, is likely to see pork production down by about 550,000 tons in 2019 due to ASF. The country’s reduced sow population is also expected to further pressure production by another 5% or 100,000 tons in 2020.

Vietnam works on measures to tame pork price

18 October 2019 ASF is expected to drive pork shortage in Vietnam in the next three months. The supply-demand gap is about 3-4%, equivalent to 200,000 tons, according to the Department of Planning. The price of live pigs in the country is increasing sharply, driven by the fear of pork shortage and increasing demand from China. “We have to consider importing to meet market demand,” said Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ha Cong Tuan. The Ministry of Agriculture previously promoted raising poultry production by 15% and beef and dairy cattle by 5% to compensate for pork shortage.

Guard against transport transmission

Contaminated vehicles and logistic systems are blamed for 90% of ASF virus spreading. Disinfecting becomes paramount to proper biosecurity. Disinfectant should always be changed daily and formulated with less organic matter and the proper ingredient concentrations. The proper amount of disinfectants should be applied for an extended time to deliver results. Click here to read up on Trouw Nutrition’s seven preventive tools against ASF.

Philippine meat processors could lose USD 776m on ASF scare

18 October 2019 Philippine meat processors see losses of up to USD 776 million this Christmas if the government fails to finalize guidelines on the movement of Luzon-produced processed meats. Many provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao, and even in Luzon, have imposed bans on Luzon-produced processed meats due to fears of ASF. The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc said these bans are preventing processors from moving their products even though the country is now in the peak season for processed meat products.

Bans to lead to ham shortage in Visayas & Mindanao

16 October 2019 The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc (Pampi) forecasts a shortage of Christmas hams in the Visayas and Mindanao (Vismin) this year, no thanks to local bans on pork products from Luzon due to fears of ASF. Pampi Vice President Jerome Ong said that while both regions have ham production capabilities, their total production will not be enough for the regions’ needs “unless the ban on Luzon-produced pork-based processed meats is rationalized.” According to Pampi, the Vismin region account for about 35-40% of total processed meat sales annually.

Protecting pigs against human transmission of ASF

People are often surprised to learn that humans are the highest risk for carrying ASF onto the farm. Although ASF is not transmittable from animals to humans, it can spread quickly from humans to animals. The disease may also spread via contaminated objects including equipment on the farm as well as through food. Because ASF can spread orally and live up to six months in meat, do not allow people to bring pork onto the farm. Swill feeding also facilitates the spread of the disease through food scraps and contact with wild boars who can perpetuate disease spread. Click here on to read more about Trouw Nutrition’s seven tools to prevent ASF.

Thai public urged to stay calm over ASF fears

16 October 2019 Thailand’s Department of Disease Control (DDC) Director General Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai has asked citizens not to panic over the ASF. He affirmed that ASF can only spread among animals. There has been no report of any transmission to humans. He said however, that people should also refrain from touching or butchering infected animals for food. “You cannot catch ASF from eating pork. However, you should inform the DLD of any unusual pig deaths,” he said.

Australia bans Vietnam traveler for bringing in cooked pork meat

16 October 2019 Australia has refused entry to a traveler from Vietnam after her luggage was found stuffed with food, including cooked pig meat. Australian Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said the woman failed to declare the 10kg of food products she was carrying. With neighboring Timor-Leste hit by the virus, fears have been raised that ASF could enter Australia, including through arriving travelers and mailed parcels. Ms Mckenzie said these are “increasing risk of incursion, and that’s why we’ve had to step up our detections.”

Vietnam’s pig farmers reluctant to restock

15 October 2019 Pig prices in Vietnam are increasing sharply as pork supply shrink. However, most farmers remain reluctant to restock as the ASF epidemic continues. Many farms that tried to restock have failed due to reinfection. Meanwhile, some of the affected farmers have converted their pig pens into fishponds, or duck pens, which make it difficult to convert back. “We’re likely to miss the Tet next year because we won’t have any pigs to sell. We’ll be halting our production for at least two years,” a farmer who used to raise 700 pigs told Asian Agribiz.

ASF outbreak reported in Gansu, China

15 October 2019 China reported on Sunday the latest ASF outbreak in the northwestern province of Gansu. The cases occurred in a breeding cooperative in Dingxi City, with 265 of the 287 infected pigs dying. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said local authorities have culled all remaining live pigs in the cooperative and “blocked and disinfected the area among its other emergency measures.” Transport of live pigs in and out of the area has also been banned. Since China reported its first ASF outbreak in August 2018, the government has declared a Level II emergency response according to the requirements of Emergency Plan for ASF. This involves local governments taking the initiative to block the transport of pigs to and from infected areas, culling and disinfection.

Philippines to pay backyard farms USD 100 per culled pig

15 October 2019 The Philippines will pay its backyard farmers USD 100/head for pigs culled due to ASF. Previously the amount was about USD 60. Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the government will also impose ‘lockdown’ procedures in the affected provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, cordoning validated areas as ‘ASF-infected zones’ to control the movement of pigs and pork products. They will also apprehend and file cases against producers and traders caught transporting, selling, buying or slaughtering ASF-infected pigs and selling ASF-tainted pork products.

Retail price of pork in Vietnam is reaching 3-year highs.


ASF could claim 25% of Vietnam’s pig herd in 2019

14 October 2019 Vietnam will likely lose over 7 million of its pigs, including 1m sows, by end-2019, Rabobank said in its latest global ASF update. Consequently, pork production may fall 20% (550,000 tons) year-on-year in 2019. The reduced sow numbers will further pressure pork production, which could go down by another 5% or 100,000.

A third of culled pigs in the Philippines tested positive for ASF

14 October 2019 The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) said around 12,000 pigs of the culled pigs in ASF-infected areas tested positive for ASF. The number represents a third of the total culled so far. Meanwhile, the DA has received ASF incident reports from several areas in Bulacan and Pampanga, and validated disease incidence in three more areas in Quezon City. DA Secretary William Dar said he has deployed additional staff to support laboratory operations, and airport and checkpoint inspections, as part our elevated response in ASF- affected areas.

Pork price taps 3-year high in Vietnam

14 October 2019 Pork prices in Vietnam is on an uptrend. Between October 8 and 10, the price jumped from USD 2.58/kg to USD 3.02/kg, the highest recorded in three years. The trend is expected to continue as price increases have been seen in all markets, especially traditional markets. In supermarkets, retail price has gone up by USD 0.65-0.86/kg depending on cuts. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which predicted the situation, is working on the solutions to tame prices, including importing, restocking, and pushing production of other livestock.

South Korea culls about 115,000 pigs due to ASF

14 October 2009 Since it reported the first case of ASF in mid-September, South Korea has culled about 115,000 pigs. It has also attached ‘highest alert’ status to its campaign to stamp out the disease. The campaign includes ramping up disinfection measures and putting a temporary nationwide ban on the transport of hogs and related livestock. As of October 13, OIE data show that South Korea has had 16 pigs die from ASF so far.

Philippines to implement zoning to control ASF spread

11 October 2019 The Philippine government and the country’s hog raisers plan to implement a zoning plan that they hope will control the spread and contain the ASF virus. The red zone is the infected area, where containment and eradication are being conducted. Adjacent to it is the pink zone, where animals will be under surveillance and blood samples will be tested regularly. The yellow zone includes areas near the red zone but have had no incidents. These will also be under surveillance. The light green zone comprises areas in northern and southern Luzon which have had no incidents. The dark green zone makes up the protected areas, which include the Visayas and Mindanao, as well as the island provinces of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.

Thai pork exports to Hong Kong peak

11 October 2019 Thailand has significantly increased its exports to Hong Kong, as the island suffers from one of the worst outbreaks of ASF. The Thai Swine Raisers Association’s figures report that in the first six months of the year alone, Thailand shipped 895 tons of pork to Hong Kong, “This accounts for about 63% of Thai pork exports to Hong Kong in 2018 or about 1408 tons.” The association estimates that Thailand will ship 2500 tonnes of pork to Hong Kong this year.

Veterinarian group warns against ASF vaccine

11 October 2019 The Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP) have issued a statement warning against ASF vaccination, noting that there is no effective ASF vaccine yet in the market. The group made the statement after unconfirmed reports of ASF vaccines from Vietnam has entered the Philippines. “The PCSP will be the first to inform industry stakeholders when a good vaccine is available, and it must through the legal process of assessment and validation through the Bureau of Animal Industry. We do not support ‘smuggling’ of unregistered biological materials,” the group said.

China’s CP Pokphand Co brings in breeders from Denmark

11 October 2019 CP Pokphand Co, China’s fifth leading pig producer, brought in 906 breeding pigs from Denmark in August, a report by Reuters said. This is the first import of live pigs into China since it reported its first ASF outbreak last year. The animals spent a month in quarantine in Xiangyang, Hubei province. With over half of China’s pig herd lost to ASF, producers are now either building new farms or restocking previously infected ones. CP CEO Bai Shanlin told Reuters they plan to raise 10 million pigs annually by 2021, up from 4 million currently.

Timor-Leste teams up with Australia to investigate ASF

10 October 2019 The Agriculture Ministry of Timor-Leste said it has teamed up with its Australian counterpart to investigate the spread of ASF in the country. “Since September 19, the ministry has gathered information about the death of 400 pigs,” the ministry said on October 3. ASF virus is not harmful to humans but causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs that is almost always fatal. There is no antidote or vaccine and the only known way to prevent the disease from spreading is a mass cull of affected animals. Click here to view our ASF updates.

Less hams for Filipinos this Christmas

By Isa Q Tan, Asian Pork’s Manila-based Editor

Christmas hams are tradition in the Philippines, but there are fears there might be shorter supply and higher prices this year as some ham producers announce plans to reduce or stop ham production this season. Jerome Ong, whose family own CDO Foodsphere Inc, said the company will reduce ham production by 15-20% this year. Another industry observer told Asian Agribiz that one manufacturer said they will not be producing hams at all this season. The decision stemmed in part from local government units banning entry of processed meats due to fears of ASF.

Pork sales in supermarket still stable

10 October 2019 While canned pork manufacturers have cited a slowdown in demand for their products, a slowdown in sales for pork have not been felt in the supermarkets, Steven Cua, President of Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association, told Asian Agribiz. He added however that price for dressed chicken and beef are “unusually high at this moment.” While other factors could be in play, Mr Cua said it might also be “a consequence of how ASF is affecting the consumer’s avoidance of pork,” as many customers are still confused about the disease.

Malaysia confident ASF outbreak can be prevented

10 October 2019 A simulation exercise aimed at increasing the level of awareness of African swine fever (ASF) among the authorities and pig farmers, and facilitating better coordination among agencies, was conducted in Malaysia recently in the event of an outbreak. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said the chances of an outbreak could be minimized if good biosecurity and precautionary measures are taken. This include measures such as disinfecting all lorries going into the farms, minimizing visitors and avoiding swill feed.

Laos reports new ASF outbreaks

9 October 2019 Laos has reported four new outbreaks of ASF in the three southeastern provinces of Attapeu, Champasak and Sekong. According to the OIE report, of the 1514 susceptible pigs, 407 tested positive resulting in 407 deaths. The remaining 1107 pigs were destroyed. Laos reported its first ASF outbreak in the southern province of Saravane. To date, Laos has lost nearly 12,000 pigs to ASF, with 4656 deaths due to ASF and the rest culled as preventive measure.

ASF can survive transshipment journeys up to 30 days

9 October 2019 A team of veterinary researchers at Kansas State University have shown that the ASF virus can survive a simulated 30-day transoceanic voyage in contaminated plant-based feed and ingredients. The team headed by Megan Niederwerder at the College of Veterinary Medicine demonstrated that the ASF virus in feed had a half-life of 9.6 to 14.2 days when environmental conditions in transshipment were simulated. The team warned countries to be vigilant about imported feed sources.

Smuggled meat blamed for ASF entry

9 October 2019 Philippine veterinarians and swine experts believe ASF entered the country through smuggled unprocessed and processed meat products. Leftovers resulting from these products were collected by backyard hog raisers and used as swill to feed their pigs. Backyard farmers in Rizal province, where the first cases were reported, admitted to the practice. Both the government and the industry have been discouraging swill feeding. Instead, they suggest that alternative ingredients such as rice bran, root crops, bananas, among others, be used instead.

Malaysia airports beef up security on ASF fears

9 October 2019 Travelers from countries plagued with African swine fever (ASF) will be subject to more stringent checks at international airports in Malaysia. This is to prevent cross border transmission of the virus. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Sim Tze Tzin said they would be checked by officers from the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services for any products containing pork, which if found, would be seized.

Acidification of drinking water an important tool

ASF continues to wreak havoc in Asia and to help producers mitigate the risks, Trouw Nutrition recommend seven preventive tools including acidification of drinking water. High quality water is not only necessary for animal health and performance but may also help prevent the spread of ASF virus to pigs through water. Water quality may be compromised by microbiological and chemical risk factors, as well as practices on the farm. Using a water acidifier to reduce the pH of the drinking water below 4 and keep it stable may support biosecurity on the farm. The ASF virus is inactivated by a pH less than 3.9 or above 11.5 in a serum-free medium. Even when ASF is not present, high bacterial challenges from contaminated water could affect pigs’ health and performance. Researchers know that pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella and Clostridium struggle at pH levels lower than 4.5. Thus, a drinking water acidifier may support defensive actions to guard against these pathogens. Click here to see the complete list of tools.

Thailand’s border security tightened following ASF alert

8 October 2019 Thailand’s pig industry is teaming up with the government to establish 50 checkpoints along its border with Myanmar to prevent the entry of African Swine Fever. The checkpoints will be manned by authorities from the Agriculture Ministry, Interior Ministry and the Army. Antiseptic spray will be used to douse all trucks carrying livestock, including cattle, poultry and even feeds before they enter Thailand. Fear intensified in September following the spread of the disease in Myanmar.

ASF to pull down Philippine pork production by 1.5% in 2020

8 October 2019 The Philippines could see its pork production down by 1.5% next year due to ASF, forecast Fitch Solutions, a unit of the Fitch Group. With backyard farms making up 60% of the pig industry, the disease could continue spreading in the coming months, it added. ASF tends to spread quickly among backyard farms, and this places the industry at risk. “Farmers are unlikely to begin rebuilding herds . . . while the epidemic is still ongoing, and even when outbreaks subside, it can take up to a year for new animals to be ready for slaughter,” Fitch Solutions explained.

Fear of shortage drives up meat prices in Vietnam

8 October 2019 In the early days of October, meat prices throughout Vietnam increased sharply. The trend is expected to continue to the yearend due to fear of shortage of pork, especially during the Tet holiday. Some players revealed that demand from China has also risen, although trading remains unofficial trans-border export. A report by the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development said ASF caused 5.2 million pigs, about 12% of the country’s herd, to be culled.

Australian pig industry under threat ASF

8 October 2019 Now that ASF has hit Timor-Leste, Australia’s USD 5 billion pig industry is starting to feel the heat. With Timor-Leste located less than 700km from Australia’s northern border, authorities are stepping up border controls to keep the virus out. Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that another possible way the virus could hit Australia is through meat packages sent to international students by their families overseas, including countries hit by ASF.

Consumer misconception on ASF remains

7 October 2019 Despite efforts to educate the public that ASF does not affect humans, some consumers have decided to refrain from eating pork. Asian Agribiz spoke to some wet market retailers who said sales have slackened over the past month. However, both the government and the local pig industry are continuing their informational campaign and have called on local media for more responsible reporting. Meanwhile, farm price of live pigs has also seen a decline, from between USD 2.13-2.42/kg in the first week of September to USD 1.84-2.13/kg in the first week of October.

ASF could claim 25% of Vietnam’s pig herd in 2019

7 October 2019 Vietnam will likely lose over 7 million of its pigs, including 1 m sows, by end-2019, Rabobank said in its latest global ASF update. Consequently, pork production may fall 20% (550,000 tons) year-on-year in 2019. The reduced sow number will further pressure pork production, which could go down by another 5% or 100,000 tons in 2020. Hog prices are expected to hit USD 2.15-2.58/kg by yearend and will rise further next year on supply shortages despite lower expected consumption.

Herd and production losses due to ASF to continue in Asia

7 October 2019 All indications point toward ASF hitting more areas in Asia thus losses will continue next year. “The impacts of ASF across Asia are likely to be just as challenging as they have been in China, and we expect to see herd and production losses growing as we move into 2020,” said Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist – Animal Protein at Rabobank. “At the same time, price levels in China – for pigs and pork, as well as for other proteins – keep climbing, and China’s structural shortage of protein is becoming clearer.”

US sees growth potential for pork exports to Vietnam, Philippines

7 October 2019 US pork exporters see potential growth in Vietnam and the Philippines, both of which have been hit by ASF. While the Philippines is just starting to feel the impact of ASF, Vietnam has already seen massive losses in its pig industry. As such, processors who generally use domestic pork products “are now looking to import raw materials,” said Travis Arp, Senior Director at the US Meat Export Federation. He added that “the US is very well positioned to be a good, consistent supplier for their businesses.”

China pork meat output to drop 25% in 2019

4 October 2019 China’s pig herd is down 50% year-on-year for the first eight months of the year, and consequently its pork meat production is seen to fall 25% for the year, Rabobank said in its latest global update on ASF. It added that production might even be lower in the first half of 2020. However, total herd loss for 2019 is seen to top at 55% due to government control measures and reduced farm numbers. China’s government is currently encouraging restocking by giving incentives, despite the risks of ASF re-contamination.

Biosecurity practices to keep pathogens off the farm

To keep pathogens like ASF off the farm, educating farm personnel on biosecurity processes and procedures is essential. But learning must be put into practice. Herman Janssen and Suparlark Nuntawan Na Ayudhya of Trouw Nutrition note some of these practices include:

– Restrict and enforce non-essential personnel’s access to the farm;
– Regulate visitors’ access to the farm with ‘cooling off’ patterns between visits;
– Mandate showering and hygiene protocols for all visitors entering/exiting the farm;
– Clean and disinfect all vehicles entering/leaving the farm;
– Monitor workers’ body temperature and health status (a body temperature reading above 37.7 degrees C and/or illness will result in denied access for a specified period of time);
– Establish sanitation procedures for all apparel and equipment used by workers entering/exiting the production house;
– Ensure the feedmill follows good manufacturing and quality assurance protocols.

Click here to read the full article.

China feed consumption down but will rebound

4 October 2019 With massive herd losses due to ASF, China’s feed consumption is down sharply in 2019. In its latest global ASF update, Rabobank predicts that overall feed consumption will fall by 17%, with hog consumption plunging 40%, for the year. However, the bank noted that China’s hog feed usage will rise by 5% in 2020, as the hog industry rebuilds. It is also gaining from higher consumption from other segments. In 2019 and 2020, hog feed’s share in China’s feed pie is seen to fall to 39% and 38% respectively, with poultry feed gaining share.

Proper disinfection important to address ASF

4 October 2019 The ASF virus is a complex virus but it is possible to create an environment via disinfection where its survival capacity is reduced. At the 23rd Pinoy Pork Challenge organized by the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP), Angel Manabat of the PCSP said that for a disinfectant to be fully effective it is critical to “remove all organic material with alkaline detergent, allow time for drying before applying disinfectant, and ensuring proper time of exposure. He said farms should follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding concentration and provide personnel protective equipment.

Thailand on high ASF alert

3 October 2019 Thailand has designated 24 provinces as “surveillance areas” for African swine fever and ordered strict animal controls in hopes of preventing an outbreak. The country has been on high alert since outbreaks in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia were reported. Earlier this month, the Thai government ordered culling of 200 pigs as preventive action after two pigs died mysteriously in the northern province of Chiang Rai, 20 km from the Myanmar border but they turned out not ASF-infected according to agriculture officials. Strict monitoring along the borders areas will continue.

Protect water quality

While ASF continues to spread across Asia, many producers are looking for ways to avoid infection and eventually repopulate their swine farms. To help mitigate these risks, Trouw Nutrition recommend seven preventive tools including the protection of water quality: Farm practices such as burying pigs in the ground can contribute to pathogens being transmitted via rainwater run-off. Similarly, disposing of carcasses in rivers can also facilitate transmission. ASF contamination can infiltrate water and the dose of virus required to infect water is quite low, making sanitizing procedures a must. Combining chlorination with an organic acid to keep the pH low and maintaining water oxidation reduction potential (650 mV) can help protect water quality. Click here to see the complete list of seven tools.

ASF to tip the scales in Philippine pig industry

3 October 2019 As the Philippines grapples with ASF, some see a rebalanced local pig industry in the future. Several industry stakeholders told Asian Agribiz at the 23rd Pinoy Pork Challenge held yesterday that in the wake of ASF, the industry will see more expansion in the commercial sector. “ASF will hit the backyard sector hardest and because of lack of resources, many may not be able to return,” one industry practitioner said. Currently, the backyard sector accounts for about 60-65% of the industry.

Restrictions on movement of meat and meat products ‘unfortunate’

3 October 2019 As ASF spreads in several areas in Luzon island in the Philippines, many local government units, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao, have issued their own orders restricting the movement of pigs, pork and pork products in and out of their jurisdictions. However, these orders contradict directives from the Department of Agriculture regarding animal and product movement. Such moves are “unfortunate,” Jess Cham, President of the Meat Importers and Traders Association, told Asian Agribiz, noting that many of the policies “not science-based. In the end they are just depriving their constituents access to meat and meat products without really protecting their hog farmers.”

South Korea culls over 15,000 pigs over ASF

2 October 2019 Since September 16, South Korea has culled over 15,000 pigs due to the ASF virus. According to reports from the World Organization for Animal Health however, of the total susceptible pigs, there were only 26 cases and 11 deaths. The rest were culled as preventive measure. All cases have been reported in Gyeonggi province and in adjacent Incheon Metropolitan City.

Feed sales in Philippines down in September

2 October 2019 Feeds sales fell in the Philippines in September partly on ASF fears, Terence Uygongco, President of the Philippine Feed Millers Association told Asian Agribiz. Hog feeds account for more than half of commercial feed sales in the country. “We’ve seen reports that feed sales suddenly softened last month, as pig producers worry that ASF may hit their farm and they are better off selling their animals ahead,” he noted, adding the consumer sentiment tends toward refraining from eating pork for now.

CP says business not affected by ASF

2 October 2019 CP Foods insists that ASF has had no adverse effect on its business. CEO Prasit Boondoungprasert said it has not impacted the company’s targets thanks to business diversification and its balanced proportion of meat products. “Chicken and pork availability in the Thai market is unchanged, on top of chicken eggs, ducks, sausages and ready-to-eat products. The recent drop in pork prices is due to seasonally weak demand and the dumping of pork supplies on concerns about ASF, but current prices are still above the production cost,” he remarked.

Thailand continues vigilance against ASF

1 October 2019 With its neighboring countries already affected by ASF, Thailand’s government and pig producers are cooperating on proactive prevention to keep the virus away, Metta Makhanon, a swine consultant in Thailand, told Asian Agribiz. She explained that if there is a suspected case “we will do stamping out while collected samples will be sent to government laboratory to confirm by qPCR.” Dr Metta added that the private sector bought and slaughtered all healthy pigs around the suspected case near the border line in Chiang Rai to create the buffer zone in the province and other risk areas.

US funds ASF diagnosis equipment for Vietnam

1 October 2019 The US has funded equipment valued at USD 800,000 for detection and diagnosis of ASF. US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said that ASF is one of the biggest problems in Vietnam today and this is also one of the US concerns regarding cooperation between the two countries. In addition to the equipment, the US has also sent a team of experts to conduct field assessments and status prevention efforts in various localities.

ASF hits Timor Leste

30 September 2019  Timor Leste became the 10th country in Asia to be hit by ASF. Earlier this month, following many cases of illness and death in domestic pigs in the country’s capital of Dili, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) sent samples from infected pigs to Australia. Results confirmed that 41% of the samples were ASF-positive. The report to the World Organization for Animal Health said of the 405 cases, all have died. There are about 400,000 domestic pigs in Timor Leste, many of which are raised in small households whose income depend on domestic pigs.  

Five million pigs killed, record high pork import in Vietnam

30 September 2019  Since it was first reported in February this year, ASF has wiped out 7% of Vietnam’s pig population. The numbers are likely to go up. Meanwhile, pork imports have reached 11,700 tons in 7 months, 3.7 times higher than the previous year, said the Department of Agro-processing and Market Development. Some players see the growing exports is due to the price difference between imported pork and local pork, as well as the growing preference for frozen pork over fresh pork due to ASF fears. This in turn has created pressure to local producers.

ASF knocks CP Pokphand profit in Vietnam

30 September 2019  A 23% drop in profit over the first six months of the year at Hong Kong-based CP Pokphand Co Ltd has been attributed to reduced swine prices in Vietnam. Profit for the period was USD 82 million. Total sales over the period increased 2% to nearly USD 3.24 billion boosted by better performance in China. Looking ahead, the company’s directors said that in view of market uncertainties, especially animal protein prices, in China and Vietnam, they remain cautious for the second half of 2019.

Seven strategies in ASF prevention

While ASF continues to spread across Asia, many producers are looking for ways to avoid infection and eventually repopulate their swine farms. To do so, internal and external prevention must be the starting point. Several external factors that may allow pathogens to enter the farm include conditions at the feed mill, vehicles and visitors entering the farm. Internal factors that can introduce ASF risk include production practices and behaviors, such as disposal of animal carcasses and lax biosecurity practices. To help mitigate these risks, Trouw Nutrition offers the following strategies:

1. Conduct a feedmill scan
2. Acidify drinking water
3. Protect water quality
4. Conduct a farm score
5. Destroy and dispose of diseased animals
6. Protect against human transmission
7. Guard against transport transmission

Click here to see the complete list of seven preventative tools.

Vietnam calm amid prospect of pork shortage

27 September 2019 With the ASF epidemic ongoing, Vietnam is forecast to lack some 500,000 tons of pork by the end of 2019. However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said there is no need to worry about the year-end supply as China, despite the high price of pork there, has tightened imports from Vietnam. This, combined with slowed domestic consumption and the abundance of alternative proteins such as poultry and beef, has given players preparation time for Tet Holiday, when the demand is expected to increase.

South Korea reports more ASF outbreaks
27 September 2019 South Korea has reported its sixth ASF outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Since the first outbreak was reported last week, 19 cases have been reported, with 10 deaths reported and 12,488 culled and destroyed to prevent the spread of the virus. Five of the outbreaks were reported in pig farms in Gyeonggi province and one in Incheon. Authorities have yet to discover the source of the outbreaks.

Biosecurity becomes norm in era of ASF

26 September 2019 Vietnamese pig producers have learnt the crucial role played by biosecurity in pig production, especially in during epidemics such as ASF. The Department of Livestock Production (DLP) said that farms that have done well in biosafety have kept their farms unaffected by the deadly virus. DLP Deputy Director Nguyen Van Trong noted an increasing number of pig farms have been applying strict biosecurity in their farms in the last three years. Biosecurity is thus a prerequisite that localities will consider for restocking allowance.

Thailand insists no ASF

26 September 2019 The Thai Department of Disease Control (DDC) announced that it has yet to find evidence of ASF in the country. However, the agency warned all Thai border provinces to stay vigilant as ASF has been reported in neighboring countries. DCC Deputy Director-General Asadang Ruayajin advised consumers against eating raw pork and farms to practice full biosecurity measures like using masks, gloves and multilevel disinfection to prevent transfer of the virus. Last week, authorities culled 200 pigs in Chiang Rai after two pigs mysteriously died in the province.

Production changes called for in pig industry

The setup and practices of backyard farms make it nearly impossible to control the various aspects of production while keeping animals healthy.

by Ha Thu, Asian Pork’s Ho Chi Minh City-based Correspondent

The significant drop in pig production in major producing countries like China and Vietnam due to ASF highlights the need for changes in production practices in Asia, where small farms still dominate. “Backyard farms are mostly located near their owners’ houses in residential areas, which are often crowded. Experts have repeatedly said this set-up makes it impossible to control the various aspects of production while keeping animals healthy,” Quach The Phong, Ipsos Business Consulting’s Country Manager, told Asian Agribiz. Thus they must change their habits if they are to remain in the industry.

Vietnam considers restocking pigs to boost supply

25 September 2019 Agriculture and Rural Development Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien has asked localities to consider restocking their pig herd to avoid pork shortages at the end of 2019, and especially for the Lunar New Year. Mr Tien also noted that the strict biosecurity now being implemented in many farms to prevent ASF has significantly reduced the number of pigs culled in recent months. Although many localities have not allowed restocking, Mr Tien said that with proper biosecurity protocols, restocking can be viable.

Philippine processors assure products are ASF-free

25 September 2019 The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc (Pampi) assured Filipinos that processed meat products from its members are free of the ASF-virus. Pampi President Felix Tiukinhoy Jr said that the group does not import pork from ASF-infected countries, while the locally produced pork members use are certified by the National Meat Inspection Service. He added that Pampi members comply with international standards of food safety and manufacturing practices.

China bans pig imports from South Korea due to ASF

24 September 2019 China has banned pig imports from South Korea after the East Asian country became the latest to report an outbreak of the ASF that has destroyed pig herds and pushed up prices globally. China’s General Administration of Customs recently said it will strengthen quarantine checks of shipments and passenger luggage from South Korea, and any illegally imported pigs would be destroyed. China has been battling to bring an outbreak of the disease among its own pork supply chain under control after at least 1.1 million pigs were culled.

Thailand bans live pig movement in the north

23 September 2019 Thai Livestock Development Department confirmed that livestock officials in the northern province of Chiang Rai have banned the movement of live pigs in and out of the province for six months after several pigs were found to be infected with ASF. More than 200 pigs in Chiang Rai province have been culled and the carcasses destroyed. Officials manning 12 road checkpoints in the province have been instructed to be more vigilant in their searches of vehicles as a preventative measure, the department said.

South Korea becomes 9th country in Asia hit by ASF

23 September 2019 South Korea has reported its first ASF outbreak, making it the ninth country in Asia to be hit by the deadly pig virus. According to a report by the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), the outbreak occurred in Paju, a city in Gyeonggi province. Of the susceptible 2450 pigs, there were five cases, all of which died. The remaining 2445 have been destroyed. Another 1500 pigs in two other farms that belong to the owner as the farm with the outbreak were killed for preventative purposes.

Biosecurity key to minimizing ASF spread

by Isa Q Tan, Asian Pork’s Manila-based Editor

Following the government’s announcement that several samples from dead pigs tested positive for ASF, Philippine pig producers, especially in the backyard sector, must strictly follow biosecurity measures and implement good animal husbandry practices, Edwin Chen, President of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines told Asian Agribiz. He added that “the collaboration between private stakeholders, be they backyard or commercial farms, and the Department of Agriculture on the implementation of quarantine and safety measures” is paramount.

South Korea confirms first ASF outbreak

20 September 2019  The first outbreak of ASF in South Korea has occurred at a pig farm in Paju, a town near the border with North Korea, according to Agriculture Minister Kim Hyeon-soo. He said the country is on the highest alert and nearly 4000 hogs would be culled to prevent the spread of the virus. The ministry has ordered a nationwide movement ban of hogs and related livestock for 48 hours to curb the spread of the virus, while looking into the source of the virus.

Investigation finds some supermarkets in Malaysia still has Chinese pork products

20 September 2019  Some supermarkets in Malaysia still had recently manufactured pork products from China on their shelves, a recent investigation by a local newspaper found. Some of the products were produced as recent as March and June 2019 and should not have been imported into the country after the widely imposed ban since September 2018 following the ASF outbreak. Consumers are urged to check date of manufacture before buying the products to protect the local

Philippine national and local governments to harmonize ASF regulations

18 September 2019  Several local government units (LGU) in the Philippines have implemented bans on pigs and pork products from Luzon, where some pigs have tested positive for ASF. However, industry players said such policies might violate Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) regulations. BAI Director Ronnie Domingo told Asian Agribiz that the Department of Agriculture (DA) has assigned officials to harmonize the regulations between the LGUs and the DA. He added that some LGUs have already relaxed their initial pronouncements, and the border officials will allow entry of animals with valid regulatory documents.

Unfavorable weather condition fuels ASF outbreaks
in Vietnam

September 19, 2019  ASF epidemic flares up after tropical storms hit the central and north areas of Vietnam in early September. Many areas saw reinfection after announcing the clearance shortly earlier. The authorities therefore have warned the entire industry to seriously take into account the risk of natural disaster and the source of drinking water. ASF has fully spread to the entire country, killing more than 4.7 million pigs. However, due to the complication of the epidemic, there has been no sign of restocking.

More dead pigs test positive for ASF in the Philippines

September 18, 2019  The Quezon City (QC) government confirmed that 11 dead pigs dumped near a creek in the city tested positive for ASF. It had earlier reported the discovery of the animals to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) which took samples for confirmation. BAI Director Ronnie Domingo told Asian Agribiz that the QC government prioritized collection and disposal of the dead animals. He added that the source of the pigs has not yet been verified, and that the Department of Agriculture and the QC government were said to begin epidemiological investigation on last Monday.

ASF confirmed in Philippine samples

September 10, 2019  The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed yesterday that tests conducted in the UK showed 14 out of 20 samples tested positive for ASF. DA Secretary William Dar said they are now waiting for the result of the viral isolation test which will confirm the virus strain. Since reports of pig deaths came out in August, he said a total of 7415 heads from ground zero have been culled. He noted, however, that quick response by the government and the private sector have helped contain the virus, with no more positive samples.

China’s pig industry to start restocking in 2020

10 September 2019  Rabobank’s Animal Protein Analyst Chenjun Pan said that by the end of 2019, China’s pig population would decline by 50%. Restocking is only expected to happen in 2020. “Some farms tried restocking after their herds were culled but suffered reinfection as the virus stays in the ground for some time. The only solution to this scourge is better biosecurity and farm management. Alternatively, choosing a new farm location away from the infected zone could also work,” she added.

ASF global market disruption will intensify

August 29, 2019  China’s hog losses due to ASF has reached critical levels, surpassing the world’s ability to fill the gap, Rabobank said in its latest global update on ASF. As the virus spreads to more countries, the disruption it is causing will only intensify. Rabobank said rebuilding of herds—difficult due to the risk of recontamination—and recovery will take at least five years in the worst-affected countries. This year, it expects 15-20% production losses in Vietnam and 25% in China.

Myanmar hit with ASF

August 20, 2019  Myanmar, which became the latest victim of ASF in Southeast Asia, reported its first two outbreaks of the disease in Shan State, which borders China in the north, Laos in the east, and Thailand in the south. The first outbreak involved 62 susceptible pigs of which 12 died of ASF and 53 were destroyed. The second outbreak involved three susceptible cases with two testing positive, with no deaths or culling so far.

CP Pokphand profit drops 23% as ASF bites

August 19, 2019  CP Pokphand Co Ltd has reported a 23% decline in profit to USD 82 million for the first half of 2019. Revenue over the period increased 2.1% to USD 3,237 million. CPPs directors attributed the decline in profitability to reduced swine prices in Vietnam and weak pig feed markets in China. Increased sales from recently commissioned processing plants in China and increased sales of feed to other species helped soften the negative ramifications caused by ASF. The directors remain cautious for the second half of 2019 in view of market uncertainties, especially animal protein prices.

Nearly 5m pigs lost to ASF

August 14, 2019  A year after it was first reported in China, ASF continues to sweep through Asia. To date it has claimed almost 5 million pigs in the region, resulting in severe economic losses to the pig sector, said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth has urged at-risk countries to implement strong border controls and biosecurity to keep the virus out. He added that “it may take badly-affected countries years to recover from the socio-economic effects” of the disease.

Despite various precautionary measures, ASF has continued to spread in Asia. One factor behind this is the lack of good biosecurity practices on and off farm. Without a vaccine or a cure, biosecurity becomes the most potent tool to stay a step ahead of the virus. This video from the European Food Safety Authority is a practical guide on ASF, from causes and symptoms to precautionary measures. It also gives a list of best practices to protect animals from ASF.

The World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIE) African Swine Fever Portal provides a wealth of information materials and updates of the global ASF situation. Click here to access and download OIE’s ASF awareness tools. Click here to download a printable PDF of the above poster.