In­fected pigs given cer­tifi­cates clear­ing them of dis­ease

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By CUI JIA cui­jia@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Four peo­ple in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion were de­tained after a quar­an­tine cer­tifi­cate — which cer­ti­fies that an an­i­mal is free of dis­ease — was is­sued for pigs that had African swine fever. The pigs were then trans­ported into the re­gion, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties said.

The im­proper cer­tifi­cate was dis­cov­ered in Ho­hhot.

On Satur­day, a vet­eri­nar­ian sta­tioned at a slaugh­ter­house in the city no­ticed two dead pigs and two oth­ers with ab­nor­mal symp­toms. On Mon­day, it was con­firmed that the pigs had African swine fever.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors from the re­gional de­part­ment of agri­cul­ture and an­i­mal hus­bandry said on Wed­nes­day that Zhang Zhongyan, a sales­per­son for the Jin­quan pig farm in the re­gion’s Naiman Ban­ner, had asked Yang Yongqiang, the of­fi­cial vet­eri­nar­ian as­signed to the farm on Sept 20, to is­sue a quar­an­tine cer­tifi­cate that would be used to trans­port live pigs from Tiel­ing, Liaon­ing prov­ince.

Dong Xiguang, vice-pres­i­dent of the farm, then paid Yang 8,000 yuan ($1,160), the in­ves­ti­ga­tors said.

The next day, two peo­ple from Tiel­ing then trans­ported 96 pigs from the city to Ho­hhot to be slaugh­tered.

Four peo­ple as­so­ci­ated with the farm, in­clud­ing its pres­i­dent, have been de­tained. Po­lice are seek­ing four other peo­ple from Liaon­ing who they say were in­volved.

The vet­eri­nar­ian’s is­suance of the quar­an­tine cer­tifi­cate and al­low­ing the com­pany to trans­port live pigs from an area with African swine fever out­breaks is ex­tremely se­ri­ous and il­le­gal, the de­part­ment said.

The de­part­ment said that quar­an­tine mea­sures had been im­posed in the area, and it will en­hance over­sight of vet­eri­nar­i­ans to pre­vent any­one else from il­le­gally is­su­ing and us­ing quar­an­tine cer­tifi­cates.

China has re­ported 20 African swine fever out­breaks as of Mon­day. The first case was dis­cov­ered on Aug 1 in Liaon­ing, which bor­ders In­ner Mon­go­lia. The dis­ease has a 100 per­cent mor­tal­ity rate for pigs but it doesn’t af­fect hu­mans.

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