Safe, Stable Pigs Supply to HK, Macao Urged

CHINA - The provincial bureau of inspection and quarantine in south China's Guangdong said Tuesday it has stepped up actions to ensure pigs supplied to Hong Kong and Macao are safe.
calendar icon 13 June 2007
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Huang Weiming, deputy director of the bureau, said they have urged local quarantine and inspection offices to work closely with veterinaries, and keep a close eye on the development of the blue-ear pig disease in areas near some 94 pig farms that are registered suppliers to the two regions.

Huang said pig farmers are required to disinfect and vaccinate their pigs and test them before shipping them to Hong Kong and Macao.

Huang said electronic ear tags are being used at some pig farms to establish a history of each animal.

According to Huang, Guangdong provides 2,030 pigs to Hong Kong and Macao a day, or about 40 percent of the pigs supplied from the mainland.

Pork prices have jumped about 30 percent in some mainland cities, and pork prices in Hong Kong have increased by seven percent in recent days.

Statistics with the bureau shows 306,493 pigs have been transported from the province to Hong Kong and Macao in the first five months this year.

The Ministry of Agriculture said Tuesday the blue-ear pig disease, also known as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), has killed 18,597 pigs and forced another 5,778 pigs to be culled in the first five months of this year.

The disease was first discovered in the United States in 1987 and spread to China in mid 1990s.

The virus cannot be transmitted to humans.

China's Ministry of Agriculture last Thursday issued a notice to prevent and control of blue-ear pig disease as the country is entering the peak season for the disease.

The Ministry of Communications has issued an urgent notice calling transportation departments to give priority to the delivery of pork and live pigs.

The central government has allocated 280 million yuan (US$36.5 million) to fund vaccinations of pigs.

For more information on PRRS, click here.

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