More outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) keep being reported from China. The total count of outbreaks is now at 11 in 6 different provinces. China has locked down over the ASF threat with prices for pork rising steeply.
The latest report that arrived at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is about an outbreak at a backyard farm in the city Jiamusi near the border with Russia. The transport of infected pigs that was eventually discovered in Henan province on August 14, originated from this town.
What does China’s pork supply chain look like?
The confirmation of ASF in Heilongjiang means that it has been confirmed that the virus has travelled over 3,000 kilometres in China alone. Just over a month ago, ASF was unknown in the whole of Asia.
The province that has been reporting most outbreaks so far, has been Anhui province, where 5 of the 11 outbreaks were found. Especially around the city Xuancheng, 3 farms have been found infected. Also outbreaks were found in Wuhu and – very recently – in Chuzhou, according to the OIE.
As a consequence of the growing number of outbreaks, transportation of pigs and pork has been banned in infected provinces. The shortage or expected problems can lead to pork price increases, reports Reuters. For instance, in Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, prices have gone up to 18 yuan/kg, where they used to be 14 yuan/kg last week.
Nevertheless, the Chinese authorities have indicated that the effect of ASF on the country’s pork supply and sales will be limited. China’s state radio reported that there will only be a short-term impact on pork prices, according to Reuters.
All in all, now almost 40,000 pigs have been culled, according to the data supplied to the OIE.
Also read this Expert Opinion: 20 Reasons why Asia has to fear ASF
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has organised an emergency meeting over the ASF outbreaks in China, with 10 countries being present. The meeting is being held in Bangkok, Thailand, for 3 days. Realising that the Chinese outbreaks form a threat for the whole of Asia, the FAO invited participants from Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
Wantanee Kalpravidh, regional manager of the FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases in Asia, said: “It’s critical that this region be ready for the very real possibility that ASF could jump the border into other countries.”
How to count the total ASF outbreaks?
As time moves on, it will be increasingly difficult to figure out the exact numbers of ASF outbreaks and different figures will be mentioned all over the media. In this report, the official reports back to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) are taken as a basis. This is a reliable figure, but often not the quickest source. Usually, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs communicates outbreaks sooner than the OIE. At Pig Progress, for the latest developments we therefore follow these news releases – but for the total count we will follow the reports to the OIE as much as possible.