Thailand increases pork exports but ASF is getting closer
Thailand still keeps its status as ASF-free country but the risk of the disease entering the country is considered to be high. Thai authorities have already restricted movements of pigs in 18 out of 77 provinces as African Swine Fever (ASF) was found in Myanmar’s Shan State, which is bordering Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Rai.
Myanmar reported to the world animal health organization (OIE) in August that samples of dead pigs found in the state’s Tachileik town contained ASF virus. This incidence prompted Thailand on a high alert because dead pigs from the town were found dumped into a tributary of Mekong River that runs through Tachileik and Chiang Rai.
As a consequence, Thai livestock authorities declared Chiang Rai a high-risk area and restricted movement of pigs within and out of the province. "Pigs in farms located along the river and those with poor biosecurity were culled to create a buffer zone along the border and the riverbank. The similar measure is also taking place in other provinces along the border with Myanmar. One of them is Ratchaburi, which borders the southern region of Myanmar.
About 100km west of Bangkok, Ratchaburi is Thailand’s largest pig producing hub with nearly two million pigs or about 10% of the country’s pig population," describes the situation Paul Anderson, General Manager South East Asia and International Sales Manager, Genesus Inc.
On the other hand, ASF-free status of Thailand has helped producers to increase their pork exports to Hong Kong. The Thai Swine Raisers Association said in the first six months of the year, Thailand shipped 895 tonnes of pork to the island. This accounts as about 63% of Thai pork exports to Hong Kong in 2018 or about 1408 tonnes. The association estimates that Thailand would ship 2500 tonnes of pork to Hong Kong this year.