China blames feeding kitchen waste to pigs for African swine fever spread
China’s agriculture ministry said on Wednesday it would ban the feeding of kitchen waste to pigs after linking the practice to the majority of the early cases of African swine fever.
The statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is the government’s first comment on how the deadly disease has spread in the world’s top pork producer.
China has reported more than 40 outbreaks of the highly contagious disease since early August, with farms across 12 provinces and municipalities already infected.
It does not affect humans.
Beijing has not yet said how the disease first entered the country but the ministry found 62pc of the first 21 outbreaks were related to the feeding of kitchen waste, a statement published on its website said.
“These outbreaks were mostly located in urban-rural boundaries, and were particularly evident in several cases in early September in Anhui province,” the statement said. Anhui is an eastern province whose capital Hefei is located about 415 km (258 miles) west of Shanghai.
The virus was also detected in kitchen waste fed to pigs on a farm in the Inner Mongolia region, it added.
“After the provinces with outbreaks and neighboring provinces completely banned feeding of kitchen waste to pigs, the epidemic was greatly reduced, which fully demonstrates the importance of completely prohibiting the feeding of waste,” the statement said.