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Japan says all measures to prevent spread of hog cholera completed

The Japanese government said Tuesday all measures to prevent the spread of hog cholera have been completed, following an outbreak of the disease at a farm in central Japan earlier this month.

Gifu Prefecture, which has buried hundreds of dead hogs, finished disinfection of the farm and a separate facility, to which manure, suspected to have been infected with the disease, was transported.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has placed a ban on exports of pork from across Japan following the outbreak, but shipments to Hong Kong resumed Tuesday, excluding those from Gifu Prefecture.

Remaining pork exports can restart with the approval of countries that receive Japanese pork products. Of Japan’s pork exports totaling 1 billion yen ($ 9 million) in 2017, Hong Kong was the top destination, accounting for 600 million yen.

Hog cholera, which does not affect humans even if meat from an infected animal is consumed, is endemic in Asia.

But it is the first time since 1992 that an infection has been confirmed in Japan. Tokyo had declared the virus eradicated in 2007.

The farm in Gifu first reported the sudden death of a pig on Sept. 3 to the prefectural government. Tests by the central government found on Sunday that the pig had been infected with the hog cholera virus.

The Gifu government culled 546 hogs at the farm on Sunday and Monday. Separately, around 140 hogs died due to the disease between Sept. 3 and 10.

Hog cholera affects only pigs and wild boars with almost a 100 percent fatality rate.

All — Kyodo News+

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