Several sources in Myanmar indicate that an unidentified bacterial pig illness has ravaged hundreds of pigs across the country, where PRRS has also been prevalent for some months now.
Since May 2011, pigs on farms and in small-scale household farming operations in Insein, Hlaingthayar and Hlegu townships have died. Initially Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) was suspected, as the disease has been ravaging Myanmar since mid-February.
Tests indicated, however, that these farms were infected with bacteria, but the exact cause is unknown.
“According to laboratory results, they were not infected by blue ear pig disease (= PRRS, ed.). They were infected by a bacterium,” Dr Soe Win, head of the Rangoon Region Animal Husbandry and Veterinarian Department, told the India-based Mizzima website.
Cats, dogs, cows
The ‘Democratic Voice of Burma’ reported that cats, dogs and cows were also succumbing to illness in alarming numbers, and carcasses were being spotted on the sides of streets. This information, however, has so far not been confirmed from any official veterinary source.
As a consequence of the outbreaks, farmers have been known to slaughter pigs at the first sign of disease and sell them – sparking concern among meat eaters. Prices of pork on the local markets are said to have already been lower than usually due to the PRRS outbreaks.