Hong Kong culls 5,600 pigs after African swine fever found

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong authorities on Thursday ordered the culling of around 5,600 pigs in a herd after the African swine fever (ASF) virus was discovered at a local pig farm.

The licensed pig farm at Lau Fau Shan, rural Yuen Long area near the mainland China border, had tested positive for the ASF virus, which is harmless to humans, after staff took samples from 37 pigs for testing.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said it will arrange cleaning and disinfection of the farm, and will continue to keep local pig farms under close surveillance and conduct tests if necessary.

“Members of the public do not need to be concerned,” the department spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the incident will not affect the overall supply of live pigs nor the operation of local slaughterhouses.

The department has notified the World Organisation for Animal Health and is investigating and tracing the source of the virus in collaboration with international experts, it added.

No reports of abnormalities from pig farms outside a 3 km zone have been received.

(Reporting by Twinnie Siu; Editing by David Evans)