Are Preventative African Swine Fever Culls in Japan’s Future?

Japan Flag ( MGN Online )

The Government of Japan is asking the Japanese National Diet to amend the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control starting this month by adding African swine fever (ASF) to the list of targeted diseases that allows preventative culls of healthy hogs in case of an ASF outbreak, according to the latest USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report.

At this time, the act only permits preventive culls during a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, in which case affected livestock owners are compensated by the government, the report says. 
Japan does not have ASF, but the deadly virus continues to spread in other countries in East Asia. 

During the initial session of the Diet starting in January, the Government of Japan plans to use lawmaker-initiated legislation to amend the relevant part of the act so that the change is approved as soon as possible, USDA reports. 

USDA said further revisions will be considered later in the session and could include strengthening the ability of animal quarantine officials to inspect passenger belongings to prevent inbound tourists from bringing illegal meat products into the country. Since October 2018, Japanese animal quarantine officers at ports of entry had seized 86 illegal meat products testing positive for the ASF virus.

Japan Expands CSF Vaccination Area 
Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) recently announced its decision to add eight prefectures, including Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata, Kyoto and Nara, to the recommended list to vaccinate healthy hogs against classical swine fever (CSF). 

CSF was detected on Sept. 9, 2018, for the first time since 1992 on a hog farm in Gifu Prefecture. The disease has since been detected in nine prefectures resulting in the culling of nearly 152,000 hogs. FAS/Tokyo estimates Japan’s annual hog production around 17 million head.

Twelve prefectures were approved to begin vaccinations of healthy hogs in October 2019. Six prefectures (Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Gifu, Aichi and Mie) began vaccinations on Oct. 25. 

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