China confirms first swine fever cases in Beijing

November 23, 2018
Some 600,000 pigs have been culled since African swine fever was first detected in August in the world's biggest consumer and producer of pork

China's agriculture ministry on Friday confirmed the first cases of African swine fever in Beijing, a disease that has spread across the country despite efforts to contain it.

The disease was found on two farms in the Fangshan District in southwest Beijing where 86 out of more than 1,700 pigs died, the ministry said in a statement.

A special task force has since sealed off the farms for culling and disinfection while live pigs and are barred from leaving the area.

Separately, senior ministry officials said during a briefing that 600,000 pigs have been culled since African swine fever was first detected in August in the world's biggest consumer and producer of pork.

It surfaced in northeastern Liaoning province but has now spread to 20 provinces with 73 cases reported.

"As you can see right now, the situation... is still very severe," said deputy director of the bureau of husbandry and veterinary medicine Feng Zhongwu.

"China has frequent trade with affected countries with a huge amount of goods exchanged. Coupled with the long incubation period of the disease and the difficulty of detection, there is a high risk of the disease getting reintroduced."

The ministry has also blamed the spread on backward farming methods, a lack of hygiene and the need to transport pigs long distances for sale.

In early September, government-controlled media said African swine fever had been discovered in just five provinces, with the agriculture ministry saying that the situation was "generally under control".

But it has steadily moved south into pork-producing districts despite efforts to contain it, including culling over half a million livestock and banning the transport of live pigs in affected areas.

Swine fever has already caused a spike in pork prices in China and fuelled growing fears of a major impact on the world's largest pig producer.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned in August that the disease could spread to other parts of Asia.

African fever is not harmful to humans but causes deadly haemorrhagic in domesticated and wild boar.

With no or vaccine, the only known control method is to cull animals.

Explore further: 'Very serious': African swine fever spreads in China

Related Stories

'Very serious': African swine fever spreads in China

November 15, 2018

African swine fever has spread rapidly to more than half of China's provinces despite measures to contain it, the government said, warning that a situation previously described as under control had become "very serious."

China culls 38,000 pigs as swine fever spreads

September 2, 2018

More than 38,000 pigs have been culled across China, state media said Sunday, as the world's largest pork producer scrambles to contain an outbreak of African swine fever.

China's swine fever outbreak may spread in Asia: FAO

August 28, 2018

An outbreak of African swine fever in China may spread to other parts of Asia, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned Tuesday, as the world's largest pork producer scrambled to contain the disease.

Recommended for you

Fish-inspired material changes color using nanocolumns

March 20, 2019

Inspired by the flashing colors of the neon tetra fish, researchers have developed a technique for changing the color of a material by manipulating the orientation of nanostructured columns in the material.

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.