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Saitama Pref. hit with 2nd swine fever case, decides to cull over 1,000 pigs

Saitama Gov. Motohiro Ono is seen on Sept. 4, 2019. (Mainichi/Shu Hatakeyama)

SAITAMA -- Nine pigs at a farm in a Saitama Prefecture town north of Tokyo were found to have been infected with the swine fever virus, prefectural authorities announced on Sept. 17, bringing the number of confirmed hog cholera cases in the prefecture to two.

The latest case hit a pig farm in the town of Ogano, which is about 5.5 kilometers away from a hog farm in the prefectural city of Chichibu, where the prefecture's first case of the fever was detected on Sept. 13.

The Saitama Prefectural Government decided to cull all 1,118 pigs at the farm in Ogano possibly by Sept. 18. The decision came during a meeting of an emergency task force headed by Gov. Motohiro Ono.

Following the discovery of the highly contagious disease at the Chichibu farm, the prefectural government designated an area within a 10-kilometer radius from the facility as a movement restriction zone.

Upon receiving a request for an expert examination of a stunted pig at the Ogano farm, the prefectural government conducted an on-site inspection on the facility and found abnormalities with several pigs. Prefectural officials then collected blood samples from the swine, which turned out positive for the virus on Sept. 17. The case was reported to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the pigs were determined as "suspected affected animals."

The prefectural government has already restricted the movement of all animals from the Ogano swinery and limited access to and from the facility to just one location to effectively carry out sterilization.

The government body also decided to call off an exhibition of miniature pigs at the prefectural Saitama Children's Zoo in the city of Higashimatsuyama.

"We'll take all possible steps with firm conviction that we'll see no more swine fever cases," Gov. Ono told the task force meeting.

(Japanese original by Mineichiro Yamakoshi and Shu Hatakeyama, Saitama Bureau)

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