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China to establish a regional control system for ASF and other diseases

China’s agriculture ministry has issued a plan to divide the country into five regions that would have greater responsibility to prevent and control African swine fever (ASF) and other animal diseases.

22 April 2021, at 7:40am

Reuters reports that the move comes after a severe winter wave of swine fever in the northern region and some provinces, as the incurable disease causes significant losses in the world's largest hog herd.

China had previously piloted the regional control system in six provinces in the south. Under the new plan, the whole country will be divided into five regions.

The regions will be tasked to ensure timely reporting of disease outbreaks, assess risks and put forward control policies.

They will also create disease-free zones within their regions and in addition make sure that, in principle, no pigs apart from breeding pigs and piglets are moved in or out of their regions, the ministry said.

China has previously discussed adopting compartmentalisation to better control the spread of African swine fever, and from 1 April restricted the movement of hogs across regions.

The trial of the system in the south did reduce some disease, said Pan Chenjun, senior analyst at Rabobank.

"The situation in the south was a bit better than the north," she said.

Read more about this story here.