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China triggers alert over falling pig stocks, disease

by 5m Editor
19 July 2007, at 10:03am

CHINA - China must do everything possible to boost pig populations decimated by blue ear disease and pay more attention to fighting the sickness which has pushed up pork prices, a minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Blue ear disease, or Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, is an infectious disease that killed 18,000 of China's pigs in the first five months of 2007 and possibly as many as a million last year, officials have estimated.

"Veterinary departments must ... raise their sense of responsibility and urgency, earnestly give attention to it and take practical measures to do everything possible to raise pig production," Chinese Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai said.

Live pig prices have been dropping as the disease spreads, causing pork prices conversely to rise, Sun told a work meeting, according to the Agriculture Ministry's Web site (www.agri.gov.cn).

"Production in main sales areas is dropping, farmers do not have the funds to re-stock, and re-stocking is going slowly," Sun said.

Soaring domestic pork prices have put pressure on national inflation levels and prompted Premier Wen Jiabao to visit a pig farm where he pledged to ensure meat for the poor of the pork-loving nation.

Source: China Post

Further Reading

Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS)

5m Editor