Dominican Republic kills thousands of pigs in outbreak of classical swine fever

The Republic of Santo Domingo-Dominican Republic will slaughter tens of thousands of pigs after detecting an outbreak of African swine fever in 11 of the country’s 32 states, officials said Monday.

Fernando Duran, the administrator of state-owned Banco Agricola, said at a news conference that the government would pay pig farmers the market price of each slaughtered animal.

The announcement of the slaughter will come after authorities sent 389 samples from pig farms nationwide to US laboratories last month after registering widespread animal mortality in three states.

Authorities said the only way to stop a deadly, vaccinated disease was to kill an entire population of pigs on the farm where it was detected.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the outbreak and have not disclosed how many pigs will be slaughtered.

The government confirmed the virus on Friday in the northwestern province of Monte Cristi and in Santiago Rodriguez in the heart of the country. There, quarantine was imposed on farms and sanitary cordon lines.

Julio Cesar Esteves, director of the Northwestern Ministry of Agriculture, told Reuters that brigades equipped with biosecurity suits would process slaughter and bury animals in pits to control the spread of the disease. ..

Brigade members also confiscated pigs raised privately for personal consumption, Esteves said. He estimated that the outbreak could be eradicated in about five months if surgery to kill the pig population was started immediately.

Rafael Abel, chairman of the House’s Agricultural Commission, estimated last week that the slaughter would result in an economic loss of about $ 180 million.

Pork is a staple of Caribbean national diet and a central ingredient in local Christmas dinners.