China finds new African swine fever cases in three provinces - ministry

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

China has found three new African swine fever cases on small pig farms in Shanxi, Hunan and Yunnan provinces, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said.

The herds at the affected farms together total 390 pigs, the ministry said on its website.

China, the world’s top pork producer, has reported more than 40 outbreaks of the highly contagious disease in 13 provinces since it was first detected in early August.

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.

The outbreak of African Swine Fever in China could lead to increased exports for Irish pigmeat to the country in the medium term, Director of Meat Industry Ireland (MII) Cormac Healy has said.

“In the short-term it could lead to more domestic product coming onto the market which would dampen import demand. That said, restrictions on movement of pigs within China could lead to some regional shortages.

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“However, in the medium term, as we move into next year, if significant culling within the domestic Chinese pig herd takes place, then it should create greater import opportunities.”

“The recent outbreak of ASF in wild boars in southern Belgium has the EU pig sector on edge. The response of most international markets has been to close there border to Belgian pork.

“Should ASF spread into neighbouring France or Germany and international markets close to their exports, then we face a massive surplus of Pigmeat on the EU market.”

“The jump of ASF from Eastern EU member states to Belgium should be a wake-up call to everyone. Maximum vigilance is essential in terms of imports, controls and biosecurity,” he explained.


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