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ASF update: China finds 2nd case at slaughterhouse

China has reported its 2nd case of African Swine Fever (ASF) at a slaughterhouse owned by WH Group’s Chinese unit.

According to a report filed to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), 30 swine died of the disease at the slaughterhouse in Zhengzhou in Henan province, on August 14. Another 230 pigs in this batch were culled.

Photo: Lina Mur
Photo: Lina Mur

1,300 km west of 1st ASF outbreak

The discovery is about 1,300 km west from the 1st report of ASF in China, about 10 days ago near Shenyang in Liaoning province, in the north east of China.

In the report, it was stated that the infected pigs were legally transported from a live swine market in Heli town, Tangyuan county in Heilongjiang province. That province is also located in north eastern China and borders to Russia.

According to press agency Reuters, the discovery was made at a slaughterhouse of China’s largest pork processor Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development, a subsidiary of the WH Group. Local authorities have suspended operations and sealed off the abattoir.

Contingency and emergency plan

According to the OIE report, a contingency and emergency plan was implemented immediately, involving strict blockade, disinfection, and movement control measures. All live pigs and animal products were prohibited to enter and exit the area.

Read more on African Swine Fever and other health issues in the Pig Progress Health Tool

Reuters reported that Heilongjiang authorities were investigating whether the pigs were infected in the northeastern province bordering Russia.

Classification of ASF virus

The news comes at the day that more became known about the background of the 1st outbreak near Shenyang.

Chinese researchers managed to establish that the outbreak strain ‘belongs to the genotype II group’ and shares a 100% nucleotide identity with strains found in Georgia (2007), Krasnodar (2012), Estonia (2014) and Irkutsk (2017).

The researchers therefore noted the close relationship among these viruses, “which suggests that the ASF outbreak in China was caused by the pan-Russian strain of ASFv.”

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