Although China linked feeding kitchen waste to pigs for the majority of the early cases of African swine fever detected in the world’s largest pork-producing country, the cause of the latest ASF outbreaks is not known at this time.
Analysts are reporting that China’s feed sector might have been contaminated, suggesting risks were high that the disease would continue to spread quickly, reports Reuters on Monday.
“It is likely that the source of contamination is feed products. The outbreak situation is very severe,” says Yao Guiling, an analyst with consultancy China-America Commodity Data Analytics.
The 50th outbreak of the highly contagious disease was confirmed Monday in southern Hunan province on a small farm of 119 pigs in Baojing county, near the border with Chongqing. It follows two cases reported over the weekend, one in Chongqing municipality, close to Baojing.
This deadly disease with no vaccine for pigs, has reached 14 provinces and municipalities in China since it was first detected in early August. However, most of the recent cases have been in the south in the heart of the country’s highest pork consumption per capita.
In addition to banning the feeding of kitchen waste to pigs and stepping up controls on the transport of live animals in Beijing, they have also ordered a crackdown on slaughterhouses processing sick pigs to control the spread of the disease.
Unfortunately, sick animals may still be getting into the food chain. Taiwan last week reported that it had found the African swine fever virus in a sausage product made by top processor Shuanghui that had been imported from China.