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Pig disposal procedure on Yuen Long pig farm with pigs found with ASF virus starts
Thursday, November 9, 2023

Regarding the incident announced on November 7 where samples of pigs from a local pig farm were detected with African Swine Fever (ASF) virus, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has collected samples from 37 pigs in the concerned farm for further testing yesterday (November 8). Results showed that samples from six pigs tested positive for ASF virus. The AFCD has launched a disposal operation at around 7am today (November 9) on the farm concerned.

An AFCD spokesman said, "According to the contingency plan on ASF, the AFCD sent around 30 staff to dispose pigs on the licensed farm in Lau Fau Shan, Yuen Long this morning. All pigs, totalling around 5 600 were to be disposed. The disposed pigs would be sent to New Territories West landfills for dumping according to established procedures."

The spokesman further said, "The AFCD will arrange cleaning and disinfection of the farm. The AFCD has notified the World Organisation for Animal Health of this incident and is investigating and tracing the source of the virus in collaboration with international experts. Regarding the three pig farms within three kilometres of the index farm, all the pig samples collected by the AFCD on November 7 tested negative for ASF virus. No reports of abnormalities have been received from these three pig farms so far. For the sake of prudence, the AFCD will still suspend transport of any pigs from the three pig farms within three kilometres of the index farm until further notice. "

The AFCD will continue to keep local pig farms under close surveillance 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.

As disposal operations take time, the AFCD will release updated operation information every day on the departmental web page, www.afcd.gov.hk for the public.