Philippines bans pig imports from Laos due to swine fever — WTO

July 2, 2019 - 6:51 PM
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Swine flu outbreak
Workers in protective suits are seen at a checkpoint on a road leading to a village near a farm where African swine fever was detected, in Fangshan district of Beijing, China November 23, 2018. (Reuters/Stringer/File Photo)

GENEVA — The Philippines has banned imports of pigs and pig products from Laos due to an African swine fever outbreak, it said in a filing published by the World Trade Organization on Tuesday.

The Philippines‘ move follows similar steps by China and Thailand, following an outbreak in Laos’ southern province of Saravane.

The disease, which is incurable in pigs but harmless to humans, has spread rapidly across China since last August and also spread this year in Vietnam.

China has reported 137 outbreaks so far, but more are going unreported.

As many as half of China’s breeding pigs have either died from African swine fever or been slaughtered because of it, twice as many as officially acknowledged, according to the estimates of four people who supply large farms.

Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne