Chart: African Swine Fever Cases Spike in Northeast
Northeast China’s Liaoning province is fast becoming the region worst-hit by a deadly pig disease that has swept through the country in recent months.
The latest outbreaks of African swine fever, reported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Wednesday, involved the deaths of 43 pigs in Liaoning and four pigs in Shanxi province. Authorities have responded to the new cases with measures including culling and disinfection, the ministry said.
The deadliest outbreak of the virus since June, killing 1,030 pigs on a single farm, was reported in the Liaoning city of Tieling on Tuesday. More than 2,200 pigs have been reported dead of swine fever in China since Oct. 8, according to numbers provided by the ministry, with at least 2,000 deaths occurring in Liaoning.
On Tuesday, Chinese media reported that Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co. Ltd., a major animal feed and pork producer, culled nearly 20,000 pigs at a company-affiliated farm after discovering an outbreak. The company has a stake in two farms in Liaoning, according to the reports.
Chinese authorities said in September that nearly 40,000 pigs had been culled in an effort to contain the disease — a number that is likely to have grown significantly since then.
Swine fever is deadly for pigs but does not affect humans. The spread of the disease has caused concern in China, which is home to around 700 million pigs and the world’s largest consumer and producer of pork. Countries including Singapore, Laos and the Philippines have placed bans or limits on the import of Chinese pork.
Liaoning is part of region that has traditionally been a center of grain production. In recent years, major pork companies have moved into the area in an effort to boost its output to rival older pork hubs in the south, according to a report by industry publication Pig Progress.
Cases of African swine fever have also been reported in Europe. The disease is believed to be endemic in Russia, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, but infected pigs have been found as far west as Belgium.
Contact reporter Teng Jing Xuan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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