6 June 2024

The sale of sick live pigs by unscrupulous pig farmers and traders is believed to be a main cause of the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in pig farms nationwide since last year, resulting in the deaths and cull of millions of live pigs and the shortage of live pigs today.

Thai PBS has received information from a group of pig farmers in north-eastern provinces who claim that they were duped, by a trading company in Roi-et province, into buying piglets at cheap prices. The animals subsequently died in their droves, thought to be caused by ASF.

They also claimed that the official permit to move pigs from one province to another, purportedly signed by an official from the Livestock Development Department in an eastern province, was falsified.

The unnamed company has already been closed by the Livestock Development Department’s branch office in Roi-et and is now facing legal action.

One pig farmer in Roi-et said that, once he knew the piglets he bought had fallen sick, he sold them to a trader who used a truck to visit small pig farms to buy sick pigs or piglets at fire-sale prices, ranging from 10-30 baht/kg or 5-10 baht/kg for aging breeders.

He claimed that the trader came from Nakhon Ratchasima and the sick pigs would be sent to a slaughter house, with their meat being kept in cold storage and then sold to pork vendors.

The pig farmer admitted that he knew ASF would not infect or harm humans, after having consumed the infected pork himself, but the virus can remain in a pig farm for up to 10 years if frozen.

There is currently no vaccine to protect pigs from the virus and the only way to prevent the spread of the disease is to cull infected pigs and disinfect the pig farms.