As swine fever spreads, Asian countries cull millions of pigs

As swine fever spreads, Asian countries cull millions of pigs
Washington Post
June 30, 2019
June 30, 2019 12:12 PM EDT
Police officers and workers in protective suits are seen at a checkpoint on a road leading to a farm owned by Hebei Dawu Group where African swine fever was detected, in Xushui district of Baoding, Hebei province, China February 26, 2019. (REUTERS/Hallie Gu)
HONG KONG – Millions of pigs are being culled in China and Vietnam in an effort to stop the spread of African swine fever, with cases of the disease already reported in six Asian countries.
Some 2.8 million pigs, representing about 10 percent of Vietnam’s herd, have been culled in the Southeast Asian nation, state media reported this week. According to officials, the disease has spread to larger-scale farming facilities.
In China, the world’s top pork producer, about 1.1 million pigs have been culled, with authorities saying cases have been found in 32 areas.
Calculating the total impact of the outbreak on China’s herd is difficult, an analyst with the Netherlands’ Rabobank wrote this month, noting that “estimated losses range from 20 percent to 70 percent.”
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The bank, which late last year put China’s herd at an estimated 360 million animals, projected in April that between 150 million and 200 million of them will die, either after contracting African swine fever or from culling.
The severe viral disease, which has no known vaccine or cure, affects domestic and wild pigs but is harmless to humans. Since first being reported in August 2018 in China’s northeastern Liaoning province, it has been found in animals in Laos, Mongolia, Cambodia and North Korea, in addition to Vietnam, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Mongolia and Cambodia have reportedly destroyed several thousand pigs in efforts to contain it.
The issue should be “prioritized within the highest levels of governments,” the FAO said.
Curbing the outbreak won’t be easy, however, according to Dirk Pfeiffer, a veterinary epidemiologist at City University of Hong Kong.
“If you haven’t got a vaccine and have a virus that survives so well in the environment, combined with that enormous density of pigs mostly kept under low biosecurity conditions,” he said, “stopping the spread of the virus is an enormous challenge.”
Curious Cdn
That Chinese boycott of Canadian pork might just end up buying them in the curly tail. With a little luck, we'll get ten times the price for it when it's in short supply, there.
there are lots of political swine that should be culled.
China vows to tackle dead pig scam amid swine fever epidemic
July 12, 2019
July 12, 2019 10:08 AM EDT
A pig on a farm at a village in Changtu county, Liaoning province, China January 17, 2019. Ryan Woo / REUTERS
BEIJING — Criminal gangs in China are faking outbreaks of African swine fever on farms free of the disease and forcing farmers to sell their healthy pigs at sharply lower prices, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.
The gangs are taking advantage of a highly contagious disease that has spread across much of the country and disrupted the world’s biggest pork market.
The scam involves dumping dead pigs on farms and then spreading rumors that the farms are infected with African swine fever, which is often fatal for pigs but harmless for humans.
The gangs then pressure farmers to sell their hogs at lower prices, violating farmers’ rights and affecting normal pig production, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement.
The ministry did not give more details but it urged anyone who witnessed such activities to alert the authorities.
“All localities should be vigilant and actively guard against it,” it said.
Up to half of China’s breeding pigs have either died from African swine fever or been slaughtered because of the spreading disease, twice as many as officially acknowledged, Reuters reported last month.
Curious Cdn
The Chinese will be threatening us if we DO NOT sell them our pork, by the end of the year.