Thailand’s agriculture minister admits swine fever now in 13 provinces

Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Srion has admitted that African Swine Fever (ASF) has now spread to 13 of Thailand’s provinces in the central, north-eastern and southern regions, including Bangkok. The Livestock Development Department will seek advice on February 3 from its Chinese and Vietnamese counterparts on how they successfully tackled the same disease, he said.

Chalermchai quoted findings of the committee in charge of prevention, control and eradication of ASF, gathered during inspections carried out between January 10 and 25. They confirm an ASF epidemic in pig farms in Bangkok, Suphan Buri, Phang-nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chumphon, Maha Sarakham, Mae Hong Son, Si Sa Ket, Khon Kaen, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Buri Ram, Nong Bua Lamphu and Nakhon Pathom (in an abattoir).

He also said, however, that only the pig farms and a five-kilometre radius around them have been declared epidemic zones, not the entire provinces, to contain the disease and avoid public panic.

Due to the spread of the disease, the minister said he has put on hold the 2.9 billion baht emergency budget from the Central Fund, which was originally intended to compensate pig farmers affected by the disease, and has moved it for use in the efforts to contain ASF instead.

Read more at Thai PBS World