Criminal gangs are faking outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in China on farms free of the disease and causing farmers to sell healthy pigs at sharply lower prices, the Chinese agriculture ministry said on Friday.
The gangs are taking advantage of this deadly virus that has overtaken much of China while disrupting the world’s largest pork market.
Reuters reported that the scam involves dumping dead pigs on farms and then spreading rumors that the farms are infected with ASF.
The gangs pressure farmers to sell their hogs at lower prices. This not only violates farmers’ rights, but it also hampers normal pig production, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said.
Although Reuters said the ministry did not give more details, it did urge people to alert authorities if they witness these activities and help the country actively guard against such threats.
ASF has no cure or vaccine and is destroying China’s breeding herd. ASF is not harmful to humans and poses no food safety risk. For more information on ASF, visit porkbusiness.com/ASF.