China Cracks Down on Attempts to Cover Up African Swine Fever

Geolocation of the last eight outbreaks reported since 11/5/18
( Swine Health Information Center )

China confirmed a new outbreak of African swine fever on two farms in Heilongjiang province on Monday, the agriculture ministry said in a statement published on its website. This follows last Friday’s outbreak in Sichuan province and the first discovery of the disease in a wild boar in Baishan city, Jilin province.

Chinese officials say they are cracking down on any behavior that delays or covers up cases of the disease from being reported, a Reuters article said. 

“(China) will need to improve hog-breeding management and animal biosafety management levels, as well as strengthening disease controls at pig farms,” Yu Kangzhen, a vice agriculture minister, said on Monday.

The Sichuan outbreak follows a Nov. 9 ban on the imports of live hogs and hog products from other regions to prevent the introduction of ASF into this province. Unfortunately, these efforts were not successful, says Paul Sundberg, executive director of the Swine Health Information Center. 

“Sichuan and Henan are the two provinces with the highest pig production, representing over 30% of total Chinese production,” Sundberg said. “Sichuan province slaughtered 69 million of the approximately 700 million pigs produced by China in 2016.”

Yu also urged authorities to crack down on unsupervised animal slaughtering and to prevent meat from animals that had died from the disease from filtering into the market.

Although the disease poses no human health risk, cooking does not kill the virus. This causes serious concern when table scraps are fed to pigs or thrown out near an area containing feral swine.

China has reported more than 65 outbreaks of the deadly disease since early August.


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