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China reports new cases of African swine fever in illegally transported piglets

China announced today (30 March) that new cases of African swine fever have been confirmed in piglets illegally transported to the Inner Mongolia region.

30 March 2020, at 10:43am

The latest African swine fever outbreak, detected in a herd of 200 piglets on a farm in Ordos city in the region, has killed 92 of the animals.

young pigs during transport

China has reported several new cases of the deadly disease this month - its agriculture ministry announced on 12 March that Sichuan province had detected ASF on a truck transporting 111 pigs illegally transported from other provinces.

The deadly disease, first detected in China in August 2018, is estimated to have slashed the country's hog herd by almost 50 percent. As both the world's biggest importer and producer of pork, China is now unable to produce enough to satisfy its domestic market demands. This month China announced that it is encouraging companies to build pig farms overseas to plug the severe domestic pork shortage. According to a report by Reuters, the latest official document, from the top economic planning body and agriculture authority, highlights Beijing's concern as soaring pork prices pushed consumer inflation to its highest levels in years, and the unprecedented coronavirus disease further disrupted logistics and hindered pig production. To cope with this shortage, it is reported that local authorities are being urged to support qualified domestic firms to "go out," and build hog farming bases in countries where pig products are eligible to be exported back to China.

China continues to increase pork imports to meet domestic demand and in the first two months of 2020 figures surged 158 percent from a year earlier to 560,000 tonnes as the world's top consumer brought in large supplies ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in January.

Biosecurity remains a top priority for keeping ASF out of naive pig populations and to prevent re-infection. Read the latest recommendations for keeping ASF off the farm.