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African swine fever reaches Beijing

China has so far confirmed 78 cases of ASF in 20 provinces

Compiled by Kevin Schulz
African swine fever continues to spread across China, now being reported in Beijing.

According to the China Christian Daily, the Chinese agriculture ministry reports the disease was detected on two farms in Fangshan district, southwest of Beijing.

The Nikkei Asian Review reports “the disease’s presence in the capital was confirmed on Friday, just nine days after the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs expressed alarm at the fever’s spread and ordered tighter controls and quarantines.

“The government’s efforts to contain the epidemic have failed to keep pace with its spread, which threatens the domestic industry for the staple. The trade war with the U.S. exacerbates the problem, as high tariffs on American pork come back to bite Beijing.”

Reuters reports “China has issued strict bans on moving pigs out of provinces and regions infected with the disease, leading to excess supply in some areas and shortages in others. Some farmers are struggling to sell their pigs or facing very low prices in areas were supplies are plentiful.”

“Restrictions on trans-region transport of pigs and products have affected the production cycle of some enterprises,” Feng Zhongwu, chief of the animal husbandry and veterinarian bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, told a press briefing in Beijing. “We will adjust our supervision measures based on the production and supplies situation,” he said.

Map of African swine fever spread across China as of Nov. 23.

The Reuters article goes on to report, “meat processed in China has been found to contain the virus. China’s Xiamen Airlines will stop serving pork from Nov. 24 due to African swine fever outbreaks, CAAC News, a publication run by China’s aviation regulator, reported on Nov. 23.

According to a report from the Iowa State University Iowa Pork Industry Center, China has so far confirmed 78 cases of ASF in 20 provinces, including the latest two outbreaks in Beijing. A total of 600,000 pigs has been culled as of Nov. 22, Feng says.

China produced 702 million pigs in 2017, according to official data.

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