China culls thousands of pigs as African swine fever spreads

August 22, 2018
African swine fever is not harmful to humans but causes haemorrhagic fever in domesticated pigs and wild boar

More than 14,500 pigs have been culled in an eastern Chinese city, officials said Wednesday, as the world's largest pork producer scrambles to contain an outbreak of African swine fever.

Beijing reported its first case of the disease in early August, and since then the virus has spread to pigs in several cities across China, requiring authorities to destroy large numbers of hogs.

African swine is not harmful to humans but causes in and wild boar that almost always ends in death within a few days.

There is no antidote or vaccine, and the only known method to prevent the disease from spreading is a mass cull of the infected livestock.

The government of the port city of Lianyungang, about 500km (300 miles) north of Shanghai, said it had culled the swine by Monday night in a quarantined area.

Authorities said they had inspected four million other pigs in the city and found no other abnormalities.

In a report to the World Organisation for Animal Health, Beijing said an emergency plan had been launched and control measures taken to halt the spread of the disease.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned in May of the risk of the spread of African swine fever from Russia.

Around half of the world's are raised in China, and the Chinese are the biggest consumers of pork per capita, according to the FAO.

Explore further: Romania reports 500 outbreaks of African swine fever in pigs

Related Stories

Danes to fence German border to stop boars with swine fever

August 15, 2018

Denmark is to erect a 70-kilometer (43.4-mile) fence along the German border to keep out wild boars, in the hope of preventing the spread of African swine fever, which can jeopardize the country's valuable pork industry.

Recommended for you

Activating a new understanding of gene regulation

November 19, 2018

Regulation of gene expression—turning genes on or off, increasing or decreasing their expression—is critical for defining cell identity during development and coordinating cellular activity throughout the cell's lifetime. ...

How female hyaenas came to dominate males

November 19, 2018

In most animal societies, members of one sex dominate those of the other. Is this, as widely believed, an inevitable consequence of a disparity in strength and ferocity between males and females? Not necessarily. A new study ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.