Mystery swine disease reportedly causing pig deaths in Bali’s Buleleng regency

Image for illustration purposes only. Photo: Phil Hearing/Unsplash.
Image for illustration purposes only. Photo: Phil Hearing/Unsplash.

More than a hundred pigs reportedly died at a farm in Buleleng regency in the past week, adding to reports of swine deaths across the island in recent months that officials suspect were caused by a virus. 

A total of 116 pigs have died at a farm owned by PT Anugrah Bersama Sukses (ABS) in Buleleng since Feb. 18, according to a report from Tribun. Most of the pigs, which were pregnant at their time of death, had experienced loss of appetite and were foaming and bleeding from their mouths prior to their demise. 

“They died quickly. For example they wouldn’t eat in the morning, they would then die in the afternoon. At first on Feb. 18 there were five sows that died. Then it escalated and now there’s a total of 116 that have died,” Nyoman Suardana, a supervisor at ABS, told Tribun yesterday.

Suardana added that the dead pigs have been buried to avoid further spreading of the unknown disease. 

The Disease Investigation Center (BB VET) in Denpasar has reportedly taken blood samples from dead pigs several weeks ago, following the deaths of dozens of swines in Bungkulan Village, also in Buleleng. 

However, the head of the Farming Agency in Buleleng, Made Sumiarta, said that the results have yet to be released and therefore no official cause of death has so far been determined. 

The latest data from the Agricultural and Food Agency in Bali, which was announced last week, showed that there have been nearly 1,000 swine deaths in Bali since the end of December. Most of these deaths were indicative of the African swine fever (ASF), as the affected pigs had shown similar symptoms such as high fever, diarrhea and vomiting. 

One official jumped the gun in confirming that the mass pig deaths on the island were caused by ASF, only to retract the confirmation later. While officials previously said that they have been able to contain the swine deaths, these most recent reports indicate that the disease may be spreading to other parts of the island.

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