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Nepal reports first African swine fever outbreak

Getty Images Nepal.jpg
Origin of infection was swill feeding.

The World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed Nepal's first outbreak of African swine fever. Six municipalities in Kathmandu Valley have reported 934 mortalities. According to the OIE report, the source of event or origin of infection was swill feeding.

The pigs were of various age-groups and showed clinical signs of fever, nausea, diarrhea, red patches on the skin and high mortality. 

Domestic control measures include surveillance within and outside the restricted zone; quarantine; official disposal of carcasses, by-products and waste; movement control; disinfection; and ante and post-mortem inspections.

According to a 2021 research review, Nepal is home to 1.4 million pigs. The country has both conventional and modern pig farms, however the majority are conventional with only one to two pigs.

Swill feeding is common and most of the conventional-raised pigs are fed kitchen waste, grain by-products and food industry byproducts.

A large number of pigs are also slaughtered on the farm itself as there are no registered pig slaughterhouses.

While pork production is growing in Nepal, the authors concluded that diseases such as ASF could jeopardize the industry, as it already suffers from challenges in pig breeding, marketing, feed availability and the management of other pig diseases. Landlocked with China and India, the authors cited a high risk of transmission to Nepal, due to leaky borders, ineffective surveillance and the illegal imports of animals and animal products.

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