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African Swine Fever Reaches China-Scientists Worry

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    Posted: August 21 2018 at 3:12pm

Can China, the world’s biggest pork producer, contain a fatal pig virus? Scientists fear the worst

By Dennis NormileAug. 21, 2018 , 3:30 PM

A nightmare is unfolding for animal health experts: African swine fever (ASF), a highly contagious, often fatal disease of domestic pigs and wild boars, has appeared in China, the world’s largest pork producer. As of today, ASF has been reported at sites in four provinces in China’s northeast, thousands of kilometers apart. Containing the disease in a population of more than 430 million hogs, many raised in smallholder farmyards with minimal biosecurity, could be a monumental challenge.

“The entry of ASF into China is really a very serious issue,” says Yang Hanchun, a swine viral disease scientist at China Agricultural University in Beijing. Given the scale of China's pork sector, the economic impact could be devastating, Yang says, and the outbreak puts a crucial protein source at risk. From China, the virus could also spread elsewhere; if it becomes endemic, “it will represent a major threat for the rest of the world, including the American continent,” says François Roger, an animal epidemiologist at the Agricultural Research Center for International Development in Montpellier, France.

The virus that causes ASF does not harm humans, but it spreads rapidly among domestic pigs and wild boars through direct contact or exposure to farm workers’ contaminated shoes, clothing, and equipment. It can survive heat and cold and persists for weeks in carcasses, feces, and fresh and semicured pork products, such as sausages. Ticks can also spread it. Infection causes a high fever, internal bleeding, and, often, death. There is no ASF vaccine and no treatment for infected animals.

Endemic in most African countries, ASF jumped to the nation of Georgia in 2007 and later spread through Russia; it has also been reported in Poland and the Czech Republic, and scientists worry about a jump to major pork producers such as Germany and Denmark.

East Asia’s first confirmed outbreak occurred on 1 August in Shenyang, a city in Liaoning province, China’s Ministry of Agriculture says. Investigators have traced the disease back through sales of pigs and concluded the virus has been circulating in the area since at least March, says Wantanee Kalpravidh, a veterinarian at the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease in Bangkok.
A threat emerges

As of 21 August, African swine fever had been reported in four provinces in northeastern China.

A genetic analysis suggests the virus is closely related to the strain circulating in Russia, scientists from the Institute of Military Veterinary Medicine in Changchun, and other Chinese institutions reported on 13 August in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. “The increasing demand for pork has resulted in a great increase in the volume of live pigs and pork products imported to China,” heightening the risk of introduction, they wrote. The virus probably arrived in imported pork products, Kalpravidh says, which then infected pigs that were fed contaminated table and kitchen scraps.

A second outbreak occurred on 14 August at a slaughterhouse in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province; the afflicted pigs had been shipped from a market in Jiamusi, a town in Heilongjiang province, more than 2000 kilometers to the northeast. The virus struck again on 15 August at a farm in Lianyungang, in Jiangsu province. The Chinese government has responded by culling sick and exposed animals—nearly 9000 were killed in Shenyang alone—blockading outbreak areas; disinfecting farms, markets, and processing facilities; controlling the movement of live pigs and pork products; screening animals; and conducting epidemiological surveys.

But there are serious challenges to containing the virus. Pig producers in China range from massive, sophisticated operations to small backyard farms; tailoring a response to suit them all “is the biggest challenge for China to control ASF,” Yang says. The complexity of the production chain makes tracing paths of infection “an incredible effort to tackle,” says Juan Lubroth, chief veterinarian at FAO’s headquarters in Rome. Kalpravidh says China is trying to earn the cooperation of producers by immediately compensating them for culled animals, in hopes of stopping them from slaughtering sick pigs and selling their meat. But ticks and wild boar could also spread the disease, although their role is poorly understood.

So far, Lubroth says, China’s “very sophisticated and knowledgeable veterinary workforce” has operated aggressively, and the government has been transparent about ASF’s spread. But containing ASF “won’t happen overnight,” he warns.

With reporting by Bian Huihui.
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    AsiaPlants & Animals

doi:10.1126/science.aav1776

Source:   http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/08/can-china-world-s-biggest-pork-producer-contain-fatal-pig-virus-scientists-fear-worst
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Lethal Pig Virus in Fourth China Province Raises Disease Threat
Bloomberg News
23 August 2018, 10:36 GMT+1

African swine fever kills 340 pigs in Zhejiang province
Wider outbreak may prompt China to import more pork in 2019

African Swine Fever was confirmed in a fourth Chinese province, indicating further spread of the lethal disease that threatens to disrupt the world’s largest pig industry.

The virus killed 340 pigs and infected 430 others on farms in the eastern province of Zhejiang, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs confirmed Thursday, four days after it was reported in neighboring Jiangsu, and some 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) from where an initial outbreak was discovered Aug. 3 in northeastern Liaoning province.

The emergence of African swine fever is a major threat to China. The country has more than half the world’s swine, and pork is the country’s principal source of dietary protein. Besides being capable of killing every domestic pig it infects, the virus is highly contagious and persistent. There’s no vaccine to protect hogs from catching it and culling infected animals and imposing strict containment measures are the way to limit further spread.

Read More: The Deadly African Virus That’s Killing Chinese Pigs

“Outbreaks could become quite serious,” said Qiu Huaji, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Harbin Veterinary Research Institute. “The affected regions may be wider than earlier expected.”
Trucked 1,400 Miles

Thirty pigs killed by the virus in Zhengzhou, in Henan province, had been legally transported about 1,400 miles from a live swine market in Heli, a town near Jiamusi in Heilongjiang province, according to Zhang Zhongqiu, the director general of the China Animal Disease Control Center.

Transportation of livestock across such distances will expand the area potentially exposed to the virus, complicating disease surveillance and control, especially with millions of smallholder-farmers less likely to understand the threat and to report cases, Qiu said.

Authorities have launched intensive nationwide checks on individual farms and offered to compensate farmers for any loss of livestock. The measures are intended to improve containment measures after an outbreak of another viral disease, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, known as blue-ear disease in China, in 2006 caused the death of millions of pigs and led to a quadrupling in pork prices the following year.

“If farmers are reasonably compensated, they will not try sell their dead or sick hogs,” said Feng Yonghui, chief analyst with an industry portal www.soozhu.com. That will remove a major cause of disease-spread, he said.
Culling Sows

If outbreaks widen, farmers may be forced to cull breeding sows, limiting the supply of slaughter-age pigs in future years, said Zhu Zengyong, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Agricultural Information Institute. So far, 20,000 to 30,000 hogs have been culled, he said.

China has the world’s largest swine herd with 433 million head as of December, according to the agriculture ministry. Pork production may reach 54.2 million metric tons this year, a quantity more than six times greater than the amount traded on the global market, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

China’s pork supply is predicted to exceed demand this year. The slaughtering of breeding sows may buoy domestic pork prices over the following two years and prompt the country to import more pork in 2019, said Pan Chenjun, an analyst with Rabobank in Hong Kong.

Weak domestic pork prices this year prompted farmers to use more food scraps from restaurants, which were previously banned from being fed to pigs, Pan said. The practice raises the risk of pigs ingesting contaminated meat, causing the disease to spread, she said.

The virus -- which does not cause disease in humans -- is inactivated in unprocessed meat when it’s heated to at least 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes.

— With assistance by Shuping Niu

Source:   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-23/lethal-pig-virus-in-fourth-china-province-raises-disease-threat
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China confirms sixth African swine fever outbreak in the country

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Ministry of Agriculture said on Sunday that 134 hogs had died from African swine fever in Xuancheng city of eastern Anhui province, bringing the total number of outbreaks in China over the past month to six.

Xuancheng city is around 70 km (45 miles) southeast of Wuhu city, where another African swine fever case in Anhui was reported last week.

Live hogs and animals that can be easily infected and products from them are banned from being transported into and outside the infected area, the ministry said.

Source:   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-swinefever-anhui/china-confirms-sixth-african-swine-fever-outbreak-in-the-country-idUSKCN1LI0D3
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China reports new swine fever outbreak in Heilongjiang province
05 Sep 2018 03:55PM

BEIJING: China said on Wednesday a new African swine fever outbreak had occurred at a farm in a suburb of Jiamusi city in northeast Heilongjiang province, the ninth outbreak of the disease since early August.

The disease has killed 12 pigs and infected another 39 animals on the farm, which had 87 pigs in total. All animals have been culled, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on its website.

Jiamusi has previously been identified as the origin of pigs found to be infected with the disease when they reached a slaughterhouse in Zhengzhou last month.

(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Dominique Patton; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Source:   https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/china-reports-new-swine-fever-outbreak-in-heilongjiang-province-10686290
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China Finds African Swine Fever at Farm in Eastern Province; 10th Outbreak in a Month

By Reuters

    Sept. 6, 2018

BEIJING — China has detected African swine fever on a farm in the eastern province of Anhui, its tenth case since the first outbreak of the virus was discovered just over a month ago, the government said on Thursday.

(Location of the 10 outbreaks of African swine fever in China since Aug. 3, 2018:

The agriculture ministry said in a statement that 22 hogs had died and 62 were infected on the farm, which has over 800 pigs, in the city of Chuzhou.

The outbreak, the fifth since Sunday, is relatively close to four other cases in Anhui, stirring concerns about the increasing speed of infection in the region.

The disease has travelled vast distances in the world's largest pork producer from Jiamisu, Heilongjiang, on the border with Russia to Wenzhou, in Zhejiang province, which is 3,000 km (1,865 miles) to the south.

The farm in Chuzhou is also bigger than the smallhold operations that have reported infections so far. Experts say backyard farms are more vulnerable to infection as they have lower biosecurity measures in place.

Swine fever is transmitted by ticks and direct contact between animals, and can also travel via contaminated food, animal feed, and people travelling from one place to another. There is no vaccine. It is not harmful to humans.

(Reporting by Josephine Mason and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)

Source:   https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/09/06/world/asia/06reuters-china-swinefever.html%5d
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2018 at 2:08pm
A Deadly Virus Threatens Millions Of Pigs In China

By Rob Schmitz

Morning Edition, · Farmer Gao Yongfei is paying much closer attention to his more than 5,000 pigs than ever before.

That's because hundreds of pigs at farms nearby are dying from a mysterious virus, and Gao and his staff are now vigilantly checking his herd for symptoms of African swine fever.

"You know the pig is sick if its mouth has turned dark and it's acting crazy," says the 64-year-old owner of Yongfei Livestock Farm. "When you find a pig that has the fever, you need to slaughter it immediately."

Yongfei Livestock Farm is in Yueqing, a city in China's southeastern province of Zhejiang, the third place in China where authorities reported an outbreak of African swine fever in mid-August. Since then, there have been seven additional outbreaks, one every few days or so, each of them hundreds of miles away from the last. In a little more than a month, some 897 pigs have died and nearly 20,000 have been culled to try and prevent the virus from spreading.

"It's spreading very quickly, and this disease is very dangerous," says Gao. "We're all scared."

Scientists are worried, too. Jurgen Richt, a professor of veterinary medicine at Kansas State University, is an expert on African swine fever. He says although the virus does not affect humans, it has shown a capacity to kill herds of pigs quickly. It's highly contagious, and infected pigs die within five to 10 days.

"And it's not only the problem that this virus is deadly for pigs," says Richt. "The problem is also we do not have a vaccine. So the only strategy we have is to keep it controlled and keep it out from noninfected areas."

That may prove to be difficult in a place like China, says Richt, home to more than 700 million pigs — about half the world's population. "This is really big, because it hits the biggest pig population in the world."

Richt says another challenge is that the virus can also be carried by wild boars and ticks, which both live in China. Richt also worries about the fact that many pigs in China live inside backyard farm operations, which are difficult for authorities to regulate and control.

In early August, China recorded its first African swine fever outbreak in the city of Shenyang, in northeastern China. Scientists believe pigs there may have eaten food scraps from a train that had come directly from Russia, and that among the infected pork was among the scraps.

Less than two weeks later, pigs nearly a thousand miles away in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou were infected. Three days after that, nearly 800 miles south in farmer Gao's city of Yueqing, another outbreak. Scientists believe that the virus spread so far so quickly because of pigs being shipped across China by farmers and buyers.

Pan Chenjun, a Hong Kong-based senior agricultural analyst at Rabobank, a Dutch banking company, says the virus's spread will have a big impact on how pork is bought and sold in China. "The direct impact on pork is that China will maybe pay more to source enough pork from other countries," says Pan.

And that will be tricky now that China's in a trade war with the United States and has imposed tariffs on imported American pork. Pan says China will likely turn to European pork suppliers instead.

Back on the pig farm in Zhejiang province, Gao is worried about China turning to pork from other countries. "Pork is an important part of the Chinese diet," he says. "It makes up two-thirds of our meat consumption. If we start importing pork, I won't make as much money."

But Gao stands to do well for now: Pork prices in his part of China have increased 23 percent since the outbreak of African swine fever. The key, he says, is to keep his pigs healthy — something that will become more difficult to do as this virus spreads throughout China.

Source:   https://text.npr.org/s.php?sId=646277592
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2018 at 2:35pm
i wonder how long it is before we see a "jump"into us humans ?

and is that possible ??

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Probably not, as it is a virus with a small group of hosts. It has an arthropod as a vector (a species of hog tick) but does not infect anything other than porcine species.

In microbiology who knows? There could be a massive mutation in its DNA from some exceptional mutagen, but as thins stand it is unlikely.

I know Wikipedia is fairly open to entries of less than honest content, but it does make a good starting point for research, so details here:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_swine_fever_virus
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My worry will it jump to the U.S. pigs. Dang I can go without pork but my puppy loves her shredded pork in gravy. Then there are those people who love bacon.
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China reports new African swine fever outbreak in Inner Mongolia

BY Reuters | September 17, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – A new outbreak of African swine fever occurred on a farm in northern China’s Inner Mongolia, the agriculture ministry said on Monday, the second in the region, as the highly contagious disease continues to spread rapidly across the world’s top producer of pigs.

Eight hogs were dead and 14 were infected on the farm of 159 animals, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website.

The outbreak is China’s 16th since early August, and comes despite a series of tough new rules announced by Beijing last week to tackle the spread.

China has now banned the transport of live hogs and pig products from regions bordering provinces that have reported swine fever outbreaks, as well as those that have had cases.

It has also banned the use of feed derived from pig blood, and banned the use of feeding kitchen waste in 16 provinces.
The new outbreak also comes just weeks ahead of a national holiday, causing concern in Beijing about pork supplies.

Still, there are also signs that consumers may be avoiding pork, even though African swine fever cannot infect people. Poultry prices have risen in recent weeks, in part because of the disease, industry officials said.

In an article on Monday, the state-backed People’s Daily reminded consumers that people could not catch the disease, and urged them not to believe rumors.

“Pork bought through standard channels must all go through inspection, the public does not need to worry,” it added.


Sourcehttp://krvn.com/agricultural/china-reports-new-african-swine-fever-outbreak-in-inner-mongolia/
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It's in Russia:

Virus hurts hopes of fatter returns for Russian pork producers


    Reuters

    2h 0

By Maria Kiselyova and Olga Popova

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's pork industry is being hampered by African Swine Fever (ASF) as outbreaks of the virus are preventing producers from exporting more to lucrative Asian markets and leaving them with falling prices at home, industry experts say.

Russia first reported ASF in 2007 and has registered more than 1,300 cases since then as the highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs has spread from the southern Caucasus region to the country's northwest region and Siberia in the east.

The spread has coincided with Russian efforts to boost local production in a bid to substitute imports of European Union pork that have been banned since 2014, despite a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling demanding the ban be lifted.

Helped by state subsidies, Russian producers now meet 95 percent of local demand. But as the amount of locally produced pork has climbed, domestic prices have slipped.

"We have come to the point where developing the sector further without significant exports becomes difficult and strategically short-sighted," said Yuri Kovalev, head of Russia's National Union of Swine Breeders.

One of Russia's top three producers, Cherkizovo, said the average selling price for its products was 5.3 percent lower in the first half of 2018 than a year earlier.

The value of pork sales at Rusagro, another big producer, fell 6 percent in the first half of 2018 compared to 2017 as prices slid.

Cherkizovo and Rusagro, along with the other big producer Miratorg, together control 20 percent of Russia's market, according to the National Union of Swine Breeders.

The three firms, which have all been affected by the virus in previous years, want to keep expanding but say ASF outbreaks are undermining their prospects abroad.

Miratorg, whose pork production growth slowed to 1.5 percent in 2017 from 6 percent in 2016, said ASF was "certainly one of the main obstacles to expanding exports and opening up new markets."

At least 105 outbreaks have been reported in Russia in 2018, of which 55 were in farmed pigs, Russian agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said. Wild boars can also contract the virus.

EXPORT MARKETS

Russia already sells some pork abroad, with exports climbing more than 20 percent in 2017 to more than 70,000 tonnes. But that remains a fraction of the annual global pork trade of 8 million tonnes.

"Export volumes are very small compared to the potential Miratorg and Russia have," said Miratorg, which produced 415,000 tonnes in 2017 and has plans to double capacity by 2023.

Russia's main export markets are former Soviet countries, with some supplies going to Africa and southeast Asia, Kovalev said.

Asia is the most attractive market, as prices there are 20-30 percent higher than in Russia, said Sergey Beiden, an analyst at Renaissance Capital.

But China, the world's biggest consumer and producer of pork, is struggling with its own outbreak of ASF and offers limited prospects for Russian pork products for now.

Cherkizovo said it was "highly unlikely that in this environment any Russian region will obtain permission to export to China soon."

Sergei Yushin, President of the Russian Meat Association, also said he expected China to tighten its import regulations. But he added: "We still have potential to increase (export) volumes to existing markets."

For now, Rusagro, which has invested heavily in a pork production complex in Russia's Far East, has said it would not expand capacity further until more export markets opened up.

Russia and China are not alone in battling the disease. Belgium reported in September its first ASF outbreak since 1985, while hundreds of thousands of pigs have already been slaughtered in Eastern Europe because of the virus.

But Kovalev said Russia's efforts to tackle ASF could build confidence among foreign buyers of Russian pork.

Cherkizovo said it had invested more than 2 billion roubles ($30 million) to protect its pork facilities from diseases over the past two years, while Miratorg said it spends tens of millions of roubles each year on sanitary treatments.

(Editing by Edmund Blair)
More: Reuters
Source:   http://uk.businessinsider.com/r-virus-hurts-hopes-of-fatter-returns-for-russian-pork-producers-2018-10?r=US&IR=T
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2018 at 5:47am
'And yet.............

China to lift restrictions where second African swine fever outbreak found

BEIJING: China is set to lift restrictions on an area in central Henan province, where the country’s second African swine fever outbreak occurred last month, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday.

The local government in Zhengzhou plans to officially lift the blockade on October 1, but it must take measures to prevent recurrence of the highly contagious disease, the ministry said in a statement.

On Saturday, the ministry said it had removed restrictions in Shenyang, Liaoning province, where the first such outbreak was reported.

The world’s top pork producer has seen a steady stream of outbreaks since the first case was reported in early August.

Authorities have banned the transport of live hogs and pig products from regions bordering provinces where African swine fever has been reported, shut live markets and banned the use of feed derived from pig blood in an attempt to contain the disease.

Source:   https://www.geo.tv/latest/213139-china-to-lift-restrictions-where-second-african-swine-fever-outbreak-found
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