Over 100 pigs at a pig farm in Sariwon, North Hwanghae Province, died on May 5, prompting an emergency response from the authorities, Daily NK has learned. 

According to a source in the province on Friday, the North Korean government immediately responded by disinfecting pigs at farms in every province and gave orders for farmers to separate sick or dying pigs from healthy ones and destroy them by burning them where they stood. 

“Provincial veterinary quarantine centers are taking steps to put in place science-based breeding measures so that things don’t get any worse. They are strictly enforcing the implementation of all [veterinary disease control measures], including disinfection,” the source said. “They are monitoring farms to make sure that the farmers don’t distribute pigs or pork products or haphazardly manage the situation.”

Taedong pigs african swine fever
Pigs at North Korea’s Daedong Pig Farm. / Image: DPRK Today’s Pinterest Feed

North Korean authorities also conducted physical exams of pig farm employees. Many employees see this as the government “finally admitting that African Swine Fever [ASF] has entered the country.”

The North Korean government has also created over ten new ASF quarantine outposts in a ten-kilometer radius around the Sariwon farm where the deaths occurred. 

North Korean authorities believe that ASF could spread through individual households that raise livestock. In addition to ordering all farms within a 10-kilometer radius of the Sariwon pig farm to disinfect their pigs and report any strange symptoms, the authorities also extended the order to include livestock-raising households.

“The government has decided to keep an eye on the management of the farms for the time being,” the source said. “They will collect frequent reports on every pig farm in the province until the end of the month regarding disinfection-related activities.”

There are also concerns among the farm’s management that Pyongyangites who consumed pork back in late April could suffer from health problems.

*Translated by S & J

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.
Read in Korean
Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.