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Timor-Leste Bans Movement of Pigs Due to Swine Flu Outbreak Featured

DILI:The ruling coalition government is imposing restrictions on the movement of pigs from Dili to municipalities in an effort to curtail African Swine flu, its agriculture ministry said on Monday after reporting multiple outbreaks to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The announcement was based on the results of laboratory tests requested by Ministry of Agriculture that found 405 pigs have died from the virus in Dili since early September.

Timor-Leste became the 10th country in South-east Asia to report the highly contagious virus, known as “pig Ebola” which has already led to the culling of millions of pigs in the Philippines, China and Vietnam.

It is estimated the disease has already wiped out 25 per cent of the world’s pig population.

The virus, which is harmless to humans but fatal to pigs, causes pigs to internally haemorrhage until they die.

There is no vaccination for African swine fever, so the only option to contain the disease is to destroy any contaminated animals.

Timor-Leste has around 400,000 pigs that provide livelihood income for over 70 per cent of the country’s rural families, according to Ministry statistics.

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