Food and agriculture

China hit by third Africa swine fever outbreak this month

Latest case, which killed 88 animals, in Jiangsu province follows earlier outbreaks in Liaoning and Henan

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 August, 2018, 4:05pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 August, 2018, 10:03pm

China’s Ministry of Agriculture said on Sunday 88 pigs had died from African swine fever in the eastern city of Lianyungang, the third outbreak this month, as the highly contagious disease threatened to spread through the world’s largest pork producer.

A total of 615 animals have been infected since August 15 with the swine fever in Lianyungang, in Jiangsu province, where authorities have banned the movement of pigs, related products and animals that are easily infected both into and outside the affected area, the ministry said.

Emergency measures, including culling and disinfecting animals, have brought the outbreak in the city’s Haizhou district under “effective control,” the ministry said.

China to introduce stricter controls on pig farming after African swine fever outbreak

The ministry did not immediately respond to requests by Reuters to comment on how it is acting to contain the spread of the swine fever.

The Jiangsu cases are the third outbreak of African swine fever in China this month. The disease, for which there is no available vaccine, had never previously been detected in East Asia. It does not affect humans.

By road, Lianyungang is about 1,300 kilometres (808 miles) south of Shenyang, the provincial capital of Liaoning province, where China’s first case of the fever was reported on August 3.

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A second outbreak was reported on Thursday about 600 kilometres (373 miles) east of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province in central China.

The pigs found to be infected in Zhengzhou had travelled from a live market in Heilongjiang province, which, like Liaoning, is in China’s northeast.

Liaoning has culled more than 8,000 animals in an attempt to contain the outbreak, while a unit of WH Group, the world’s top pork producer, said it had culled 1,362 pigs at the slaughterhouse where the Zhengzhou cases were discovered.