African Swine Fever Threatens Global Food Security

Photo: Richard Bartz, CC BY-SA 2.5

African swine fever jumps ocean, wipes out huge pig farm

| Hundreds of thousands of hogs lost in China

| BEIJING (Reuters) – China reported an outbreak of deadly African swine fever on a huge pig farm part-owned by a Danish investment fund, showing the spread of the virus to modern industrial farms expected to have the best levels of disease prevention.

The outbreak occurred on a farm in Suihua city with 73,000 pigs in northeastern Heilongjiang province, owned by the Heilongjiang Asia-Europe Animal Husbandry Co Ltd, a company established in 2016.

The farm’s herd included 15,000 breeding pigs, according to its website, and it was aiming to produce 385,000 pigs for slaughter a year.

Some 4,686 pigs had been infected and 3,766 animals died, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said late on Wednesday.

All animals on infected farms must be culled under current rules.

The farm is the largest yet to be hit by the disease, which has infected almost 100 farms across China since August 2018, spreading faster than in any other country to date.

More than 200,000 pigs on infected farms have been culled, according to a Reuters tally of official figures, while hundreds of thousands more in the vicinity have also been put down.

China has the world’s largest hog herd and the rapid spread of African swine fever has roiled the country’s trade in pork, the nation’s most popular meat, disrupting supplies and pushing up prices in some areas.

Neither Heilongjiang Asia-Europe Animal Husbandry nor its majority owner, state-owned Zhejiang Rural Development Group Co. Ltd, responded to calls for comment. Read more. 

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