China’s Pig Market On Lockdown As African Swine Fever Spreads

Sunday, September 9, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 09/09/2018

A series of African Swine Fever outbreaks in China is “here to stay,” the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Friday, adding that it could spread to neighboring countries in Asia.

On Wednesday, the FAO assembled an emergency meeting in Bangkok consisting of health experts, government officials, and industry participants from China and surrounding countries to develop a regional response to east Asia’s first outbreak of the disease.

While the virus is not a direct threat to humans, it is extremely contagious and has a high mortality rate among pigs, and can have a devastating economic impact on meat producers.

“It’s critical that this region be ready for the very real possibility that African Swine Fever could jump the border into other countries,” said Wantanee Kalpravidh, regional manager in Asia for the FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases. “That’s why this emergency meeting has been convened.”

Reuters said the virus was first detected in China last month and has been found in 18 farms with many cases more than 600 miles apart, the FAO said in a statement.

With an abundance of pork farms across China, the FAO indicated the spread of the virus to neighboring countries is almost inevitable.

“The geographical spread, of which African Swine Fever has been repeated in such a short period of time, means that transboundary emergence of the virus, likely through movements of products containing infected pork, will almost certainly occur,” said Juan Lubroth, chief veterinary officer at FAO.

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