All pigs on Ta Kwu Ling pig farm with samples tested positive for ASF virus earlier were culled
Monday, February 13, 2023
Regarding the incident announced by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) on February 11 where samples of pigs taken from a local pig farm were tested with African Swine Fever (ASF), the AFCD launched the disposal operation on the farm concerned this morning (February 13). It was completed at about 7pm tonight.
An AFCD spokesman said, "According to the contingency plan on ASF, the AFCD sent staff to dispose and handle 107 pigs at about 8am today on the licensed farm in Ta Kwu Ling, Sheung Shui. All disposed pigs were sent to West New Territories Landfill for dumping according to established procedures."
The spokesman noted that thorough cleaning and disinfection will be continued on the farm. The AFCD will continue to investigate and trace the source of the virus. For the sake of prudence, the AFCD still suspends transport of any pigs from the five pig farms within three kilometres of the index farm. AFCD staff will continue close surveillance on the situation of these five farms.
To safeguard the biosecurity of local pig farms and to prevent spreading of pathogens amongst farms, the AFCD has carried out a series of measures to reduce the risk of disease transmission, including restricting local pig transportation vehicles to carry live pigs from only one licensed pig farm during each trip to the slaughterhouse, and setting up standards to avoid spillage from local pig transportation vehicles to minimise spillage of pig wastes.
Furthermore, the AFCD has also commissioned contractors to carry out thorough cleaning and disinfection at designated locations within Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse and Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse to all local pig transportation vehicles before they exit the slaughterhouses. The AFCD has also introduced licensing condition of rearing pigs to ban the feeding of swill and food refuse etc that may contain or have been in contact with food made of pork or pork-product to pigs.
On the other hand, the AFCD has been making use of various channels to proactively raising the awareness of pig farmers on prevention of ASF. Measures include producing and distributing relevant guidelines on cleaning and disinfection, and posters, meeting with the trade, organising seminars and inspecting local pig farms on a regular basis, etc.
The AFCD will continue to keep local pig farms under close surveillance and step up inspection and conduct tests if necessary. The AFCD has also notified all farmers to alert the Department immediately if abnormal health condition is observed in pigs.
The spokesman stressed that ASF is not a zoonotic disease and will not infect humans, hence does not cause any food safety risk. Pork cooked thoroughly is safe for consumption. Members of the public do not need to be concerned. The incident does not affect the operation of local slaughterhouses nor the overall supply of live pigs.