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Riau Islands rejects report on swine fever outbreak

Jakarta Post - May 11, 2023

Fadli, Jakarta – The Riau Islands has rejected a report by the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) on an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) on a pig farm in the province.

Rika Azmi, head of the provincial Food Security, Agriculture and Animal Health Agency, claimed the WOAH did not have the means to determine outbreaks of animal diseases in Indonesia.

She said the Indonesian Veterinary Authority had notified the WOAH of an ASF incident on Bulan Island as part of transparency efforts.

"Indonesia will submit a final report on the situation on Bulan Island to the WOAH when the ASF countermeasures can be implemented," Rika told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday, without saying when the document would be delivered.

The WOAH said on Tuesday that the Indonesian government had reported an ASF outbreak on a farm on Bulan Island.

The outbreak killed 35,297 pigs in a herd of 285,034 on the farm and was detected on April 1 and confirmed on April 28, Reuters reported, citing the WOAH.

The source of the outbreak is unknown, but veterinarian authorities told the WOAH that humans, vehicles, feed, flies and wild boar may have played a role in the introduction of ASF on the farm.

The Agriculture Ministry has revoked the ASF-free certificate for PT Indo Tirta Suaka (ITS), which operates the farm.

"The company must resubmit [its application for the certificate] to the government to obtain it again and take countermeasures according to the procedures," said Rika.

Rika said it could take some time for the company to resume pork exports to Singapore, a major market for the product, based on previous outbreaks in other regions.

"I think this could take at least one year, depending on the measures taken by the company in accordance with the instructions from the veterinary authority," said Rika.

Singapore stopped the import of live pigs from Bulan Island in April after it detected the virus in a batch livestock from the island. The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said the affected animals had been removed from the abattoir line.

Late last month, the Indonesian Agriculture Ministry's Center for Veterinary Services tested pigs on the farm in response to Singapore's discovery of the cases.

Honismandri, the Riau Islands veterinary authority chief, said of the 23 samples tested, 21 were found to be positive for ASF.

The ITS farm occupies 1,500 hectares in Batam and manages some 240,000 pigs.The company typically sells pigs to Singapore at about US$1.5 per kilogram.

According to the SFA, live pigs from Bulan Island make up about 15 percent of Singapore's total pork supply. (dre/gev)

Source: https://asianews.network/riau-islands-rejects-report-on-swine-fever-outbreak