Caixin
Mar 09, 2021 05:00 AM
CHINA

China Cracks Down on Illegal, Fake Swine Fever Vaccines

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What’s new: China’s Agriculture Ministry issued a stark warning Monday about the significant risks of illegal African swine fever vaccines, pledging to intensify a crackdown on what can only be fake inoculations.

The ministry is offering a reward of as much as 30,000 yuan ($4,600) to those who report such activities. No country in the world has approved the production, sale and use of African swine fever vaccines, the ministry said, so any form sold on the market is fake.

Caixin learned that several unapproved swine fever vaccines have been circulating in the market since 2019 and have been used by many pig farms.

The background: China is still recovering from a devastating outbreak of African swine fever in 2018. The outbreak caused the death of more than 10% of pig herds in China, Mongolia and Vietnam, according to a 2019 report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

Chinese scientists recently discovered that a milder but harder-to-detect mutation of the African swine fever virus has been spreading in China, posing new challenges to the prevention and control of the highly infectious disease.

“Not only will fake vaccines not protect pigs from African swine fever, they will also pollute the farm and surrounding environment,” the ministry said. The use of gene-deletion vaccine can cause “long-term, large-scale” infections that are hard to eliminate, seriously harming the interests of farms, it said.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com).

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