For the 1st time, an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) has been reported from China.
According to a report by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), a farm with 383 pigs was hit near Shenyang in Liaoning province. That province is located in the north of China, bordering North Korea.
In total, 47 pigs perished on the farm, according to the report, after which the entire farm was culled. Also an emergency plan was put into force.
According to press agency Reuters, local authorities culled 913 pigs in the area preventively, to avoid further spread of the virus. In addition, the Chinese ministry of agriculture introduced a swine transporting ban from the affected area and the feeding of untreated food waste was forbidden.
Should these measures not be sufficient, then the outbreak could potentially have large consequences. In Central and Eastern Europe, where ASF was introduced in recent years, it has proved difficult to get the virus under control. This is mainly related to the fact that the virus continues to spread in the wild boar population.
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In Europe, there is a strong emphasis on the importance of biosecurity on swine farms. Exactly that is often a problem in China, especially with backyard farms, where local people have one or more pigs in their backyards.
China is by far the world’s largest pig producers with almost half a billion pigs. That is about 50% of the total world population.