China to monitor pig transport amid spread of swine fever
China vows to strengthen the supervision of transporting live hogs, as 17 provinces have been affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak this year, amid growing public concerns that this would lead to a rise in pork prices and unsafe food quality ahead of major festivals.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Transport said in the document that 17 provinces in the country, including major pig breeders in southern China, have been affected by the ASF, while accusing the long distance transport of live hogs as the main cause of the cross-regional spread of ASF.
The ASF outbreaks in some regions were caused by illegal transport activities by interestdriven lawbreakers from virus affected regions, the document noted.
It said all vehicles used for transporting live hogs must undergo strict vetting at every stage, including checks on license plate registration and cleanliness and disinfection.
The document came amid Chinese netizens’ increasing concerns over the situation, with some saying that “the New Year and Chinese New Year are just around the corner, and I will have to give up eating pork this year because I do not know if I can trust the quality.”
The agricultural ministry said in August that ASF is a highly contagious, viral disease that infects pigs. It does not affect humans or other animals.
“The live pig selling price is around 4 yuan ($0.57) for every 500 grams, and should cost around 6 yuan to cover for breeding. That means for every pig they sell, they are losing 200 to 300 yuan,” Zhang Shumin, director of the husbandry department of the Jilin Academy of Agricultural Science, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Zhang Yuejing, an analyst at Beijing-based zhue.com.cn, a website specializing in pig industry news, told the Global Times on Thursday that “due to restrictions on the supply of live pigs in the virus-ridden regions, there is a major pig production and market mismatch in the country.”