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China aims to create a panel of regional experts to help tackle African swine fever

China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are reviewing developments in the African swine fever epidemic.

4 February 2019, at 3:30p.m.

Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Dr Yu Kangzhen, and the Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Dr Monique Eloit, reviewed developments in the situation and the prevention and control measures applied since the declaration of the first case of African swine fever in Liaoning province in August 2018.

Dr Yu Kangzhen, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China shaking hands with Dr Monique Eloit, Director General of the OIE
Dr Yu Kangzhen, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China shaking hands with Dr Monique Eloit, Director General of the OIE

© Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

The People’s Republic (PR) of China is facing a major crisis for the pig production sector following the occurrence of African swine fever on its territory, the OIE reports. Noting that PR China is the world’s leading producer of pigs and pork meat, and the Chinese market is virtually self-sufficient in terms of domestic consumption, Dr Eloit emphasised that controlling the spread of the disease to farms and regions that are currently free is of crucial importance to limit the socioeconomic and commercial repercussion of the epizootic disease.

During the meeting, the Director General of the OIE commended the regularity with which the Veterinary Services of PR China have been notifying the OIE of information on the identified cases of African swine fever and she made a point of acknowledging the considerable resources being deployed to detect and respond to outbreaks. “Right from the start of the crisis, the services of the Ministry of Agriculture of PR China have demonstrated transparency by being more reactive in notifying outbreaks as well as by improving the quality of the provided data. By respecting their international commitments, they are helping to control African swine fever more effectively in China and limit the risks of it spreading to neighbouring countries”, declared Dr Monique Eloit, Director General of the OIE. Vice-Minister Yu summarised all the measures taken by the Chinese authorities over the past months for a better and stricter control of the disease such as the ban of swill feeding practices, the reinforcement of the control of live animal movements, the registration of vehicles, and other numerous measures to improve the early disease detection as well as the outbreak management.