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ASF flares in southern Indonesia

Outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) have been reported in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara and the island of Flores, killing tens of thousands of pigs.

30 March 2021, at 10:04am

According to reporting in Mongabay, new cases of ASF are devastating pig populations in East Nusa Tenggara. Both domestic and endangered wild pig populations are threatened by the deadly pig disease.

Animal health authorities estimate that ASF has killed 35,000 pigs on the island of Flores – up to 40% of the pig population.

Many local pig producers stepped up sanitation protocols and biosecurity measures to keep the virus out of their herds.

Carolus Winfridus Keupung, the director of Wahana Tani Mandiri, a non-profit group that works with farmers, believes that the death toll could be higher than the reported figure. He says that many pig producers are failing to report mortalities to animal health authorities. He also said that the government needed to take action to prevent ASF from spreading to other parts of Indonesia.

“There must be real action to restrict trade,” he said. “Pigs are dying everywhere, and the community is suffering great losses … If a pig costs 3 million rupiah [$207], tens of billions of rupiah of income are being lost. The government is talking about the Food Estate” — a central government plan to establish large-scale plantations in several provinces — “but people’s food security has been destroyed.”

Read more about this story in Mongabay.