North Sumatra says it may cull all pigs if Classical swine fever is not controlled

The current outbreak of Classical swine fever (CSF) in North Sumatra has caused the deaths of over 9,000 pigs and authorities are now considering drastic action to stop the disease in its tracks.

“The team is in the regions currently. If they cannot deal with the virus then all the pigs have to be culled,” said North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi in an interview with The Jakarta Post.

With similar clinical signs to the African swine fever (ASF), all pigs being tested for CSF will also be tested for ASF. The two diseases are caused by similar viruses and are only distinguishable by laboratory testing. Both diseases spread rapidly, have a high mortality rate and have no treatment once infected, therefore slaughter of infected and potentially infected pigs is the recommended method for preventing the spread.

Fortunately, there is only one serotype of the CSF virus and attenuated vaccines are highly effective.

“Hopefully the vaccines can be shipped to North Sumatra soon so we can also prevent the spread of the virus,” Edy added

CSF does not spread on the wind or on insects or birds so standard precautions of farm biosecurity should be sufficient to protect the herd. However the virus persists in uncooked and cured meat and these products should not be fed to pigs.