Papua New Guinea confirms outbreak of african swine fever

African swine fever has prompted Vietnam to cull two million pigs in several months. Photo by Shutterstock/Dusan Petkovic. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PORT MORESBY, Mar 31, 2020, RNZ. Papua New Guinea’s agriculture minister has confirmed an outbreak of African Swine Fever in several Highlands provinces, Radio New Zealand reported.

The fever has killed hundreds of pigs in Mendi, the provincial capital of Southern Highlands, and other nearby areas.

The virus was first suspected in November last year but was only confirmed by the government this past weekend.

The minister, John Simon, declared Southn Highlands, Hela and Enga provinces as disease areas, and launched a multi-million dollar containment strategy.

While the virus poses no harm to public health, most villages have pigs as a source of revenue, protein and for custom and reconciliation ceremonies.

Mr Simon said authorites are trying to figure out how the virus skipped from the coastal areas into the depths of the Highlands.

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