Photo/IllutrationWorkers in protective gear assemble at a hog farm in Gifu on Sept. 9, where the first swine cholera case in the nation since 1992 was confirmed. (Takuro Yamano)

  • Photo/Illustraion

The farm ministry reported on Sept. 9 that it has confirmed the nation’s first case of swine cholera in 26 years at a hog farm in Gifu, prompting safety measures including culling.

Swine cholera is an infectious livestock disease among pigs and wild boars, which does not affect humans. The last time the viral disease was confirmed was in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1992.

The farm where one of the hogs died has been confirmed as having been infected by swine cholera has refrained from moving the animals off the site since Sept. 8.

A task force was formed at the ministry to respond to the report of the swine cholera case and to prevent its spread.

By Sept. 8, about 80 hogs had died at the Gifu farm. The hog farm raises 531 pigs to sell for meat and 79 for breeding, according to Gifu prefectural officials.

The farm will be disinfected after the hogs there are culled within 24 hours, according to Gifu prefectural officials. The prefectural government will also prohibit operators of hog farms in the surrounding area from moving their livestock out of their farms.

The prefectural government’s central livestock hygiene service center found that a pig in the farm may have died of swine cholera after conducting a check on the death of the animal. The inspection was carried out at the request made on Sept. 3 by the Gifu municipal government’s livestock raising section.

Further examination at the central government-affiliated National Agriculture and Food Research Organization in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, found early on Sept. 9 that the hog tested positive for swine cholera.