GIFU/KOMAKI, AICHI PREF. – The Aichi Prefectural Government started work Sunday to vaccinate wild boars against swine fever, in the first attempt at vaccinating wild animals in the country.
Aichi officials placed feed containing a vaccine in the ground at some locations in Aichi Prefecture, including at a forest in Komaki.
Swine fever outbreaks have occurred at pig farms mainly in central Japan since last year. Wild boars are believed to have spread the disease.
Aichi Prefecture will conduct the work at a total of 60 locations in the cities of Komaki, Kasugai and Inuyama.
Five more rounds of vaccination work will be conducted by February 2020, prefectural officials said.
On Monday, the Gifu Prefectural Government also began placing vaccine-containing feed in the ground. The prefectural government plans to set the feed at 900 locations in mountainous areas in 18 municipalities by Friday.
The prefectural government will monitor whether the feed is eaten by wild boars using security cameras. It will also capture some of the hogs to check whether they test positive for an antibody.
The second round of vaccination work will be conducted in late April, and two more rounds are set for the summer and winter, Gifu officials said.
On Saturday the agriculture ministry said a new case of swine fever was confirmed at a pig farm in Yamagata, Gifu Prefecture. The prefecture will slaughter some 2,000 pigs raised at the farm.
The latest swine fever case is the 12th in Japan since September last year, when the nation’s first instance of the disease in 26 years was confirmed in the prefecture.
Gifu Gov. Hajime Furuta called the timing of the outbreak “extremely regrettable.”