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By Teng Jing Xuan / Nov 16, 2018 11:27 AM / Environment

Workers dispose of a pig carcass after an outbreak of African swine fever in Heilongjiang province. Photo: VCG

Workers dispose of a pig carcass after an outbreak of African swine fever in Heilongjiang province. Photo: VCG

African swine fever has now spread to one of China’s biggest pork producing provinces, Sichuan.

An outbreak in Yibin city has infected 16 out of one farm’s 40 pigs, killing 10, the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed Friday. China’s first outbreaks were reported in northeastern province Liaoning in August, but have recently spread southward to the country’s major pork hubs.

Sichuan issued a ban on fresh pork imports last week as the disease reared its head in neighboring province Guizhou and southwestern municipality Chongqing. But the measure has failed, possibly due to the “lawless elements” illegally transporting animals and animal products that central government authorities have blamed.

The disease doesn’t affect humans but is often deadly for pigs. It has already driven prices up and threatens to disrupt supply in the world’s largest pork market.

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