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ASF tightens its grip in six Asian countries

According to the latest reports by Pork Checkoff, ASF has officially claimed more territory across all parts of Asia.

27 June 2019, at 10:36am

Today, official statistics by the Food and Agriculture Organization show that you can now find ASF in Cambodia, China, Laos, Mongolia, North Korea and Vietnam - and experts predict its relentless march will continue, Pork Checkoff reports in the latest FAD Preparation Bulletin.

The numbers are staggering

In Vietnam alone, officials report more than 2.5 million pigs have been culled from the national herd due to ASF. The disease has spread to nearly every province. In a country of 95 million people where pork makes up 75 percent of total meat consumption, this reality spells trouble.

Meanwhile in China, the picture does not look too much better despite the government’s ongoing efforts and that by large private producers. The nation’s swine herd shrank 21 percent on the year in April to a level not seen since the early 1990s, according to agriculture ministry data. Dutch lender Rabobank forecasts the herd will decline between 20 percent and 30 percent in 2019 from the previous year when China recorded a herd of 428 million head.

ASF situation in Asia (August 2018 to date)
ASF situation in Asia (August 2018 to date)

Source: China: MARA, Viet Nam: WAHIS & media information, Cambodia: MAFF, Other: WAHIS. © Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

How ASF spreads in China
How ASF spreads in China

© China Ministry of Agriculture

The disease's toll on China's swine herd continues to reach epic proportions with recent estimates pegging current and future losses related to ASF at more than 200 million pigs. With the losses that farmers have had to face, some are reluctant to begin repopulation as has been encouraged by the Chinese Government for fear that they could lose their entire herd to the disease again. This said, some commercial herds are looking at expansion with New Hope Liuhe, a Chinese integrator, announcing its plans to add 1.6 million head to its herd across three provinces.

Investigation into the spread of the disease concluded that that vehicles and workers are the most common way that ASF spreads. Feeding swill and transporting live pigs or pork with ASF contamination are also key methods of ASF transmission.