Pigs drop dead in Karangasem as mystery swine disease feared spreading in Bali

Pork for sale at a local market in Denpasar City, Bali. Photo: Denpasar City Agriculture Agency
Pork for sale at a local market in Denpasar City, Bali. Photo: Denpasar City Agriculture Agency

More pig deaths have been reported in Bali, this time in a village in the easternmost regency of Karangasem.

According to officials, farmers in Tenganan Village have reported their pigs dying over the past week after exhibiting high fevers, loss of appetite, and seizures.

“It’s still being looked into,” Made Ari Susanta, who heads the livestock health department in Karangasem’s Agriculture Agency, told CNN Indonesia.

955 pigs across Bali have reportedly died since the end of December, according to data from the Agriculture and Food Agency in Bali, with officials suspecting they may have died from a virus. African Swine Fever (ASF) is the likely culprit for most of the swine deaths.

“Latest data indicate 955 deaths, with 899 indicative of ASF while the others are not,” said I Ketut Gede Nata Kesuma, who heads the agency’s livestock health department on the provincial scale.

Mass pig deaths were previously predominantly reported in Badung and Tabanan regencies, followed by some deaths in Gianyar and Denpasar. 

Symptoms showed by affected pigs, such as high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting are similar to those exhibited by pigs affected by ASF. One official jumped the gun in confirming that the mass pig deaths in Bali were caused by ASF, but that confirmation was later retracted.

Reports of pig deaths in Bali have decreased significantly over the last couple of weeks. Amid the concerns, the Bali provincial government campaigned to promote pork consumption by guaranteeing that they are safe for consumption if cooked correctly.

Related — More than 1,000 pigs slaughtered for Balinese holiday Galungan amid mass swine deaths from mystery disease 

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