Asia-Pacific

Japan detects more swine flu, culls pigs

A prefectural government has confirmed the outbreak of swine flu, also known as hog cholera, after three pigs were found dead at a farm in central Japan.

Japanese soldiers and local officials have begun to slaughter 5775 pigs in central Japan following confirmation of an outbreak of swine fever at a farm in the region.

The Gifu prefectural government confirmed the outbreak of swine flu, also known as hog cholera, after three pigs were found dead at the farm in question on Monday.

The local government has also suspended shipments of pigs from two other facilities located within 10 kilometres of the farm in the city of Mizunami.

"The situation has become very serious," Gifu Governor Hajime Furuta said at a local government meeting on Tuesday.

In Gifu prefecture, the nation's first swine fever infection this year was detected at a local farm in September and the second case was reported in November at a public livestock park.

Prior to that Japan had not had any cases of the virus since 1992.

The neighbouring prefecture of Aichi has been in the process of culling about 15,000 pigs since the confirmation of the virus at a farm in the city of Tahara last week.

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