Swine fever reported at public research institute as Gifu Prefecture logs third case this year
Japan Times -- Dec 06
Officials from the city of Minokamo, Gifu Prefecture, said Wednesday that a case of classical swine fever has been discovered at a public research institute — the third such case of the virus being reported this year and just over a decade since it was official declared eradicated in Japan.

The latest case follows infections reported in September at a pig farm and another at a public livestock center park in November, both in the same Gifu city.

The prefectural government began culling hogs at the research institute, which breeds about 500 pigs for the development of brand-name pork products, after two animals tested positive for the virus that has a high mortality rate. Swine fever does not affect humans even if an infected animal is consumed. The outbreaks at public facilities could spark criticism against the local authority, which is at the forefront of measures to protect livestock.

At a meeting held Wednesday to respond to the outbreak, the minister of agriculture, Takamori Yoshikawa, said, “It is extremely serious that the infection was detected at the prefectural institute. It will have a huge impact.” The minister said he may visit Gifu to deal with the outbreak.

Gifu Gov. Hajime Furuta apologized at the meeting, saying, “We are very sorry that the outbreak occurred at the prefectural facility, which is supposed to have well-prepared preventive measures in place.”

Deputy Gov. Takanori Kawai told reporters, “We make every effort in implementing preventive measures at core livestock industry facilities, but the positive test result indicates there was a failure in the process.”

According to the prefecture, on Monday, staff at the facility noticed four pigs had lost their appetite. In tests conducted by the central government, infections were confirmed in two of the pigs on Wednesday.

News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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