The Medan Veterinary Center has confirmed that the deaths of tens of thousands of pigs in Nias and South Nias regencies in North Sumatra were due to the African swine fever (ASF) virus.
Medan Veterinary Center head Agustia said his team sent the test results to the Animal Husbandry Directorate General, adding that the virus could spread to the rest of Nias Island if preventative measures were not taken.
"There are indications that the virus has spread to Gunung Sitoli already. We ask other areas, especially North Nias and West Nias, which have not yet been infected, to remain cautious since this virus spreads quickly," Agustia said on Saturday.
According to Medan Veterinary Center data, the number of dead pigs in Nias and South Nias has surpassed 37,000.
To halt the spread of the virus, Agustia recommended that the Nias and South Nias regency administrations stop the transportation of pigs between villages, designate a special area for the disposal of pig corpses and implement biosecurity measures to reduce pig deaths.
"These recommendations must be carried out to prevent further pig deaths on Nias Island," Agustia said.
The East Nusa Tenggara Husbandry Agency previously reported that 2,000 pigs across Timor Island died after contracting ASF in February.
Earlier this year, ASF killed tens of thousands of pigs across other areas of North Sumatra, as well as hundreds of pigs in Bali. (dpk)