Flood-hit Chinese county asking for disinfectant donations to tackle dead livestock

31 July 2021, at 12:30am

China's animal husbandry association urged companies on Tuesday to donate large volumes of disinfectants for a county in the central province of Henan, where widespread floods have killed thousands of livestock.

Reuters reports that the rotting carcasses of dead animals easily produce pathogens, but disinfection material is insufficient, the semi-official China Animal Agriculture Association said on its website, after the farms in Tangyin county were flooded.

It also sought donations of other disease prevention materials, such as veterinary drugs, vaccines, and protection equipment, on behalf of local government authorities.

Last week's heavy rains sparked the province's worst flash floods in centuries, killing at least 71 people. More than a million animals died and 1,678 large livestock farms were affected, official media said.

"Large quantities of disinfectants are needed," said a manager with a pig producer that has farms in Henan.

The industry's biggest concern was the potential for disease to spread, said the manager, who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Flooding has hit both small and corporate farms alike, he added.

The disaster came as China battles African swine fever disease, which decimated its pig herd since being first detected in 2018.

Heavy rain and floods, blamed for fresh outbreaks of the disease last year, threatened to frustrate the effort of the past two years to rebuild the herd.

In the move to avert disease, Tangyin authorities have culled more than 210,000 head of livestock, including 3,956 pigs, after floods killed 380,242 animals in the region, the husbandry association said in its website notice.

Tangyin produced 309,000 pigs by the end of last year, the local government said on its website, while Henan, with 43.11 million produced in 2020, ranks as the country's third largest producer.

Last week, the agriculture ministry advised local government officials on steps to prevent animal disease after flooding, including disposal of carcasses and disinfection.