As classical swine fever (CSF) infections continue to spread to more areas in Japan, the country’s agricultural ministry is debating whether or not to vaccinate farm pigs in affected prefectures against the infectious disease.
The ministry is looking into the development of a strict system to prevent meat from vaccinated pigs from being distributed outside of the areas where they are raised, in order to minimize the influence of the possible vaccination program on pork exports, The Japan News reported.
“To be honest, we don’t want to use vaccines, at a time when the country is aiming to expand pork exports,” a senior ministry official said.
If vaccines are used, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) rules state they cannot be considered a swine fever-free country, making pork exports difficult.
The ministry launched discussions on vaccinating pigs after CSF cases were confirmed in both Mie and Fukui prefectures in July, following outbreaks in Gifu and Aichi prefectures.
Officials believe wild boars with CSF are responsible for the infections for the farm pigs. Wild boars are being found in wider areas, The Japan News said, raising the possibility of infections spreading.
The article said Japan is now in talks with OIE about the swine fever-free status rules.
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