Hong Kong has reported its first outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF). The virus was found in 1 pig carcass on May 2 during a routine check in a slaughterhouse.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received the report on May 12.
Hong Kong, located on a peninsula directly south of China’s Guangdong province, is a so-called ‘Special Administrative Region’ within China, having different legislation than in mainland China. For that reason, the city has a government of its own and can independently report ASF outbreaks to the OIE.
Hong Kong’s minister for food and health, Sophia Chan, told the British newspaper The Guardian that the outbreak was found in a pig that had been trucked in from the neighbouring Guangdong province. Having suspended pig imports, the city state will first preventively cull additional 6,000 animals to avoid further spreading of the virus. Only after that, new pig imports are allowed to commence again.
Geographically the outbreak is not tremendously surprising. In the surrounding Guangdong province, 3 ASF outbreaks were found in December 2019. Generally it is accepted that the official ASF reports from China just reflect a small bit of the real problem.
The global pig agribusiness starts to feel the effects of ASF in China too