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China calls for stronger control of African swine fever

While the first cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in Vietnam, new outbreaks have been reported in domestic pigs in China and Romania.


While the first cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in Vietnam, new outbreaks have been reported in domestic pigs in China and Romania.

Concerned by the “very grave” disease situation, China’s vice premier wants ASF control measures to be ramped up to ensure the supply of domestic pork is maintained.

At a special meeting to address the ASF situation in China recently, Hu Chunhua called for greater supervision of farms, transport and slaughter plants, reports Xinhua.

While controls have been lifted in some areas — Qinghai, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Guangdong, Fujian and Guizhou — over the past two weeks, the country’s agriculture ministry has reported ASF outbreaks in three new regions to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Since mid-February, first occurrences of the disease have been confirmed at farms in Hebei, Guangxi and Shandong provinces, and ASF has returned to Yunnan. In these four outbreaks, almost 35,000 animals were lost to the disease through mortality or culling to prevent further spread of the virus.

ASF was also detected in a herd of 222 domestic wild boar at a forest farm in Inner Mongolia, according to a report received by the OIE last week.

Since the first ASF cases in August 2018, there have been 108 confirmed outbreaks in China, affecting 27 provinces and regions, according to the latest update from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Recent local media reports in Vietnam of ASF outbreaks have been confirmed by the agriculture ministry to the OIE. There have been 11 outbreaks among village herds since the start of February. More than 2,000 pigs have been lost, either through mortality or culling. All of the outbreaks have occurred in one of four provinces in the Red River Delta region in northern Vietnam.

The only other country reporting ASF outbreaks in domestic pigs over the past two weeks is Romania. The 10 confirmed outbreaks were all in areas where previous cases had been reported, and occurred in small backyard herds.

ASF outbreaks continue in European wild boar

Several central and eastern European states continue to report ASF cases among wild boar to the OIE.

Over the past two weeks, these have included Belgium (93 outbreaks), Poland (57), Hungary (49), Romania (28), Latvia (seven), Bulgaria (three) and Ukraine (one). All these animals were found in regions where the ASF virus has previously been found, and where disease controls are in place.

So far, all of the cases among Belgian wild boar have been in the southern province of Luxembourg. This forest area has been divided into two zones for the purposes of ASF control. In mid-February, the country’s animal health agency, AFSCA, announced that the borders of the inner “vigilance” zone may need to be adjusted as one virus-positive wild boar had been found outside this control area. This decision would not affect any pig farms.

Swine fevers return to Russian wild boar

In Russia, ASF appears to have returned to two areas after a short period of apparent freedom from the disease. Three wild boar in Kaliningrad and one in Leningrad tested positive for the virus during February. Previous cases were detected in December last year.

Also after a two-month lull, classical swine fever has returned to the Far East region of Russia. One wild boar in a forest in Primorsky krai tested positive for this virus in early February, according to the official report to the OIE.

View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.

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