PARIS (Reuters) – Papua New Guinea has confirmed its first cases of African swine fever among village pigs, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said.

The cases occurred in four villages in the Mendi Munihu district of the Southern Highlands province, with a total of 396 free-ranging pigs dying from the disease, the Paris-based OIE said in a note, citing a report from Papua New Guinea’s veterinary services.

The outbreak started on March 5 and was officially confirmed as African swine fever on March 25, the OIE said.

African swine fever has spread across Asia, including in Papua New Guinea’s neighbour Indonesia, leading to the deaths of millions of pigs.

China, home to the world’s largest pig herd, has been particularly affected, causing upheaval in global meat markets.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Janet Lawrence)