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Chinese Pig Industry Faces Serious Challenges

by 5m Editor
28 May 2009, at 12:38pm

CHINA - China's Ministry of Agriculture says the current financial crisis and the A/H1N1 flu have delivered a severe blow to the country's livestock industry.

China's legislature, the National People's Congress, has launched an inspection program, in an effort to develop effective countermeasures, reports CCTV.com.

An official from the Ministry of Agriculture told the NPC inspection team which issues were most pressing for the industry.

He said pig farmers are losing money as a result of a significant and sustained slump in pork prices since the beginning of this year. He added it's very likely that pork production will decline even further. Meanwhile, dairy production also faces gloomy prospects, as it is still affected by scandals involving contaminated milk powder at some of China's biggest dairy producers.

The agricultural official said animal-related epidemic diseases are another prominent problem.

Gao Hongbin, Ministry of Agriculture, said, "The risks and uncertainty about animal-related epidemic diseases are increasing and have become a common problem facing all people. The bird flu, and swine blue ear epidemics in recent years, as well as the current A/H1N1 flu pandemic have caused significant impact on the stable development of China's stock raising industry."

Gao Hongbin said the international financial crisis has also added to the woes facing the industry. Both export and domestic consumption of home-grown livestock products have dropped.

The sales decline, together with the credit squeeze, has driven many producers to suspend or even shut down production.

Responding to these difficulties, the NPC will send inspection teams into the field in eight provinces starting in June, with the aim to improve the industry's situation from legal perspective.