China, the world’s largest pork producer, has culled 200,000 pigs from its herds due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever. A Reuters report says Chinese health officials made the announcement last week. That number represents a small part of the 700 million pigs that China slaughters every year for food consumption. However, due to restrictions on transporting animals that are designed to help curb the spread of the disease have created tight pork supplies in parts of the country.
Forty-one disease outbreaks have affected 27 different cities across the country. The Chinese Animal Health and Epidemiology Center say the disease, which is deadly to pigs but not to humans, is very hard to detect and prevent. China has culled pigs on each of the farms hit by outbreaks, as well as all the animals on other farms within a three-mile range of each outbreak. Most of the swine fever outbreaks have happened in northeast China. That’s an area which typically sends its hogs to slaughter in the south, closer to consumption centers.
The U.S. has suspended pork imports from Poland last week after an outbreak of African Swine Fever in that country. According to porkbusiness.com, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service also has concerns over Polish export protocols. APHIS discovered that a Polish export facility shipping pork to the U.S. didn’t follow the requirements designed to help prevent the spread of serious livestock diseases. The USDA also says a second facility in Poland is under review.
The USDA is also working with Customs and Border Protection staff to enhance screening of passenger bags coming from Poland. The checks aim to ensure that restricted products are not brought into the country. African Swine Fever has not yet been detected anywhere in North America. The disease is highly-contagious among domestic and feral pigs, but it poses no danger to human health.
Source: NAFB News Service