China has loosened the rules on the transportation of breeder pigs and piglets in provinces that are affected by the African swine fever (ASF), the agriculture ministry said on Thursday.
The move was put in place to ensure pig production and pork supplies, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website. Breeding stock and piglets from counties without ASF outbreaks will be allowed to be transported to other provinces. Breeding stock and piglets from infected counties will be allowed to be moved within the infected province.
Market pigs coming from farms with high biosecurity levels in infected counties can also be targeted – sold to slaughterhouses with 150,000 pigs per year or above slaughtering capacity in the province, Reuters reported.
Beijing previously banned the transport of live pigs from regions infected with ASF, leading to a drop in prices in major pork production areas in the north that usually sell pigs to other regions.
Reuters reported that farmers in some major production areas in the north were forced to raise their pigs to heavier weights due to the ban and became reluctant to replenish herds because of ASF concerns.
Beijing is looking for ways to keep China’s favorite meat in supply, despite more than 90 reported cases of ASF striking the world’s largest pig herd since August.
China will strengthen supplies of pork and its alternative products during New Year and Spring Festival holidays, the Ministry of Commerce also said in a statement on Thursday.