Laos Swine Flu Outbreak Sees Thailand, China Ban Pig Imports

China and Thailand Ban Pig Imports from Laos

China and Thailand have both ban pork and pig product imports from Laos following the country’s first outbreak of African swine fever.

The first cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been reported in Laos, with seven outbreaks across villages in Salavanh Province, leading to the deaths of 973 animals according to the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The disease swept across China last year, with some 120 outbreaks, and spread to Vietnam shortly after. Millions of pigs have been destroyed throughout China and Vietnam since the outbreak began.

Laos made the decision to ban the import of pork from China and Vietnam in March this year, possibly slowing the spread of African swine flu into its territory.

After the first cases were discovered in Laos late last week, China has, in turn, banned the import of pork and pig products from Laos.

“Illegally imported pigs, wild boars and their products from Laos intercepted by the frontier defense departments shall be destroyed under the supervision of customs,” said China’s General Administration of Customs in a statement, saying the country will step up inspections of packages and passengers from Laos.

Thailand instituted a similar ban, covering live pigs and carcasses to ensure the prevention of the disease in Thailand, according to the Thai Department of Development of Livestock.

Asian swine flu is not known to transmit across species, meaning the disease is fatal to pigs but does not harm human beings.

Photo: SierraSunrise