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Pig Farm In Trouble for Defenses Against Swine Fever-Infected Drones

By Matthew Walsh / Dec 23, 2019 01:57 PM / Society & Culture

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

A pig farm in northeastern China landed itself in trouble with the authorities after a device it ostensibly installed to ward off drones interfered with the navigation systems of planes flying overhead.

Earlier this month, the state media-affiliated magazine China Comment reported that gangs were using drones to deliberately spread African swine fever through the country’s already-decimated pig herd in a bid to force farmers to sell off pork at discounted rates. The gangs then pass off the meat as coming from healthy animals to resell it at higher prices.

The farm, located in Zhaozhou County, Heilongjiang province, and operated by Heilongjiang Dabeinong Agriculture & Pastoral Food, fitted the radio-blocking gadget to prevent criminal gangs from using drones to fly items infected with the deadly African swine fever into the area, online news outlet Thepaper.cn reported Wednesday.

The incident, which occurred at the end of October, caused a number of flights in the vicinity of Harbin airport to lose GPS signals. Some even complained of failures in the satellite navigation technology used to pinpoint the position of an aircraft.

Authorities eventually found the offending device and ordered the farm to hand it in. No further punishment was administered, Thepaper.cn reported.

Earlier this month, the state media-affiliated magazine China Comment reported that gangs were deliberately further spreading African swine fever through the country’s already-decimated pig herd in a bid to force farmers to sell off pork at discount rates. The gangs then resell the meat at higher prices.

Since last summer, China has lost millions of pigs to African swine fever and seen pork prices soar.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com)

Related: Grim Future Seen for China’s Small Pig Breeders After Swine Fever

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