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China redoubles efforts to curb spread of ASF

China is scrambling to contain new outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) as cases emerge overseas and in China’s main agriculture centers.

16 March 2021, at 8:55am

According to reporting in The Global Times, the new outbreaks of ASF are threatening supplies of pork and sparking fears of food inflation. The deadly pig disease could also undermine China’s food security.

In the latest round of biosecurity measures, animal health authorities in Sichuan province, the country’s largest pork producer, banned the transport of live pigs out of the province. Authorities are cracking down on individuals who transport pigs through illegal channels. Checkpoints at major roads are increasing and full inspections and disinfections are being conducted across the province.

China’s Agriculture Ministry is also calling for redoubled efforts to stop fake ASF vaccines from circulating. The ministry notes that no vaccines for ASF have been approved in China or other countries.

According to The Global Times, outbreaks of African swine fever wiped out around half of China’s pig herd between 2018 and 2019. Efforts to rebuild China’s pig population have been hard-fought, with officials reporting in December 2020 that its herd is approaching pre-ASF levels.

The new outbreaks of African swine fever are raising concerns about its possible impact on China’s pork supply and prices for the staple meat.

Read more about this story in The Global Times.