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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 6 - 12  > JCP lawmakers push government to take measures to combat hog cholera epidemic
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2019 February 6 - 12 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP lawmakers push government to take measures to combat hog cholera epidemic

February 9, 2019

Japanese Communist Party parliamentarians on February 7 held a hearing with Agriculture Ministry officials regarding the ongoing epidemic of hog cholera in central Japan and demanded measures to prevent further damage and compensate affected farmers.

In September 2018, a swine fever case was reported on a hog farm in Gifu Prefecture for the first time in 26 years in Japan. After this, the infection was detected in many locations in the prefecture. Five months on, earlier this month, pigs in a pig farm in the neighboring prefecture of Aichi were infected by the fatal virus. The outbreak expanded to prefectures in central and western Japan, such as Nagano, Shiga, and Osaka. A total of 16,000 hogs will be destroyed to contain the epidemic.

The hearing was joined by JCP members of the House of Representatives Tamura Takaaki, Fujino Yasufumi, and Motomura Nobuko and members of the House of Councilors Kami Tomoko and Takeda Ryosuke. The JCP lawmakers stressed that the Agriculture Ministry should make utmost efforts to investigate into how the outbreak occurred and how it spread, urging the ministry to fulfil its responsibility to prevent the epidemic from further spreading. They underscored the need for full compensation for affected farmers as well as government support to help them disinfect their farms and restart their businesses.

In response, a ministry official in charge of communicable disease control said that the ministry will instruct farmers to take measures to maintain proper sanitation. The official also said that concerning nearby pig keepers that are currently suspended from shipping hogs, the cost of feed and the decrease in sales during the suspension period will be covered by the government.

Members of the Japan Family Farmers Movement (Nouminren) were also present at the hearing. A hog farmer in Gunma Prefecture, which is next to the epidemic-hit Nagano, said that some hog raisers near Gunma’s border with Nagano are refraining from shipping animals for fear of infection. He said that these farmers deserve government support.

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