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Japan OKs step necessary for hog cholera vaccination amid outbreak

  • October 15, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 3:48 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO – The Japanese government revised Tuesday guidelines on vaccinating against hog cholera, a step necessary for 10 prefectures with confirmed cases of the deadly disease to begin pig inoculations possibly later this month.

 

“We will continue to cooperate with the prefectures and steadily prepare” for vaccinations, farm minister Taku Eto told a news conference. Outbreaks of the disease over the past year have seen more than 140,000 pigs in Japan culled.

 

The 10 prefectures are Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Gunma, Ishikawa, Mie, Nagano, Saitama, Shiga and Toyama. Their governors will formulate programs specifying the quantity of vaccines and areas to be checked by the farm ministry before giving final approval.

 

Eto expressed his intention to give full explanations to prefectures neighboring the 10, which have asked for the vaccines but been excluded from the step.

 

The disease, also known as swine fever, only affects pigs and wild boars and has a high fatality rate. Human health is not affected even if meat from an infected animal is consumed.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry also instructed local governments as well as livestock farmers’ groups Tuesday to check for any damage caused by Typhoon Hagibis to fences set up at farms to prevent the spread of the disease.

 

A panel of experts at the ministry approved the revised vaccination guidelines last Thursday.

 

The ministry also decided Tuesday to boost inspections for African swine fever, a different disease which has been spreading across Asia, in case it enters Japan, allowing testing at the prefectural level. So far, testing for the disease has only been conducted at national facilities.

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