Hong Kong said the supply of fresh pork from China may not recover soon as the African swine fever epidemic on the mainland curtails the availability of the popular meat. The government has been in talks with Chinese authorities to increase the supply of fresh pork as soon as possible, but it’s not likely to “swiftly return to previous levels in the short term,” Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan wrote in a blog post on the bureau’s website this weekend. It could be as long as a decade before China recovers from its outbreak of the deadly pig disease that is decimating hog herds, according to Cargill. The virus, which kills most infected pigs within 10 days, has already spread to most Chinese provinces. China could feel swine fever blow for next decade, Cargill says Official reports of a 24 per cent decline for the nation’s herd are “conservative,” said John Fering, managing director for Cargill’s premix and nutrition business in the Asian nation. Many in the market are already expecting a drop of 45 per cent in production for this year, he said. China has culled more than 1 million pigs because of the disease in the past year, Chan said. China is the world’s largest pig market. China’s pork imports rise to highest since 2016 One of the three licensed slaughterhouses in Hong Kong may close within the month due to the shortage of pigs from China, Sing Tao Daily reported on Saturday. Owners of the Tsuen Wan slaughterhouse are planning to apply for the land to be used as a columbarium, a site for storing funeral urns, the paper reported, citing two people in the industry who did not wish to be identified. The government has not received formal notice from Tsuen Wan slaughterhouse on operational changes, Chui Tak-yi, under secretary for food and health, told reporters in a briefing Saturday. The virus was first reported in China in August. Since then, there have been more than 140 outbreaks, forcing the nation to boost meat imports. While the government has tightened animal-safety controls, the structure of the country’s hog industry, with many backyard operations, has made it harder to stop the spread of disease.