In its battle to fight its own outbreaks of Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Japan has now reached a cull rate of 75,000.
The country has been fighting with Classical Swine Fever (also known as hog cholera) since September 2018, when the virus was discovered in wild boar in central Gifu prefecture. Ever since, it has been spreading to domestic pig farms as well – and over the months, a range of farms have had to be depopulated.
In March and April, another series of swine farms were cleaned out for reasons of Classical Swine Fever, bringing the total number of pigs that have been culled for preventive reasons at 75,554 at 27 farms, according to statistics by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
In the meantime, the virus still circulates in wild boar in Gifu and the adjacent Aichi province, with in total 506 wild boar having been found infected of which 134 had died.
Orally vaccinating wild boar
Late March, the Japanese authorities in Gifu prefecture announced the move to a strategy to combat the viral infection by orally vaccinating wild boar. They do so by placing vaccine-containing feed in the ground at 900 locations, according the Japan Times. It will be monitored by cameras whether or not this feed is being eaten. Also various boars will be captured to check if the vaccine is doing its work.
A 2nd round of vaccination is planned for this months, with 2 more rounds to follow in summer and winter.
The outbreaks in Japan should not be confused with African Swine Fever, which is currently on a journey through continental Asia. The viruses have similar names and lead to similar clinical signs, but other than that they are essentially different. For CSF vaccination is possible, for ASF there is currently no vaccine.