Thailand bans pig imports from Laos after African swine fever outbreak

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand will ban pig imports from Laos for 90 days after its neighbor confirmed the first outbreak of deadly African swine fever, an official notice said.

The ban would cover live pigs and carcasses in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading into Thailand, said a notice on the Thai Department of Development of Livestock on Friday.

The move follows a similar ban on Friday by China.

Laos on Thursday confirmed its first outbreaks of deadly African swine fever - which is fatal to pigs but does not harm humans - in its southern province of Saravane, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health said on Thursday.

Lao authorities reported seven outbreaks of ASF in villages in Saravane, which led to the deaths of 973 animals, the OIE said on its website, citing information from Laos’ Agriculture Ministry.

Millions of pigs have been slaughtered in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam to try to stop the spread of the disease.

Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Alison Williams