If pigs could fly: Authorities tackle pork price crisis following swine fever outbreak

Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

In the midst of already surging meat prices, there has been a recent outbreak of African Swine Fever reported at several Thai pig farms, exacerbating the problem even further. Farms that have detected the virus have to slaughter and bury pigs to prevent the disease from spreading, decreasing the number of pigs in the country. In Prachuap Khiri Khan in Southern Thailand, 117 pigs on three farms had to be slaughtered and buried. Authorities say that farms having less than enough breeding pairs (of pigs) will cause more pork shortage problems.

In an interview with The Bangkok Post, the director-general of the Department of Livestock Development said that before the outbreak, there were an estimated 1.1 million breeding pigs in the market. That number has now dropped to around 660,000. The situation, he said, will take 8 to 12 months to solve, because local piglets have to be at least six months old before they can be slaughtered. Last year in June, the number of pigs available in the market already declined from 20 million to 15 million.

Although the Ministry of Commerce ordered the suspension of live pig exports to protect domestic supply, it will be difficult to find enough healthy breeding pigs to meet market demand. This month, there were only an estimated 10 million pigs available prior to the outbreak. Thais consume roughly 18 million pigs a year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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