Largest African Swine Fever Pig Culling Reported in China

Largest African Swine Fever Pig Culling Reported in China ( Sara Brown )

A Chinese pig operation connected to the company whose employee was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing high-tech U.S. corn seed secrets has culled nearly 20,000 pigs due to a suspected case of African swine fever (ASF), according to a report by the China Securities Journal on Tuesday.

Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co Ltd, one of China’s top animal feed producers, reported the information about their affiliated firm to investors in an online platform, the state-owned journal said. The company could not be reached for comment by Reuters.

In 2016, Dabeinong’s director of international business Mo Hailong pleaded guilty for his involvement in the long-term conspiracy to steal trade secrets from DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto.

Dabeinong has since expanded from feed production into pig farming in recent years, building large sow farms to supply the world’s top pork market. Last year, it was named the 15th largest producer in China, according to China Swine Industry Association data. The company has bought or invested in other pig farming firms in an attempt to grow more rapidly and fill a gap left by the exit of small farmers.

According to the Securities Journal report, Dabeinong owns a 40% stake in two pig farming companies in northeast Liaoning province, including one in Beizhen city, under the administration of Jinzhou city, where the suspected case was found.

China has now reported more than 30 separate outbreaks of ASF in nine provinces and municipalities since the first case in early August and has slaughtered tens of thousands of animals.