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Second case of ASF found in China China Photos/Getty Images

African swine fever hits largest farm yet in China

To date, ASF has infected nearly 100 pig farms in China.

Compiled by Ann Hess
A modern foreign-invested Chinese pig farm has fallen prey to African swine fever according to the latest report from Reuters. The farm, with 73,000 pigs in the northeastern Heilongjiang province, is the largest facility to be hit with an outbreak thus far.

China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reported late Wednesday that the Danish-backed Heilongjiang Asia-Europe Animal Husbandry Co Ltd had around 4,686 pigs infected and 3,766 animals had died. According to Reuters, the herd included 15,000 breeding pigs and was aiming to produce 385,000 pigs for slaughter per year. The entire herd will need to be culled under current regulations.

To date, ASF has infected nearly 100 pig farms in China.

The Ministry also announced Wednesday that China will begin carrying out ASF detection in pig slaughtering. If the virus is detected, slaughterhouses must cull all pigs to be slaughtered and suspend operations for at least 48 hours. The regulation will go into effect Feb. 1.

On Dec. 26 China announced it would loosen rules on the transportation of breeder pigs and piglets in provinces affected by ASF. Breeder pigs and piglets from counties without ASF outbreaks are now allowed to be transported to other provinces, the ministry said, and breeder pigs and piglets from infected counties are allowed to be moved within the infected province.

Reuters also reported that the ministry determined that market pigs produced at farms with high biosecurity levels in infected counties can also be targeted -- either sold to slaughterhouses with 150,000 pigs per year or above slaughtering capacity in the province.

Previously China had banned the transport of live pigs from regions infected with the disease, leading to a steep drop in prices in major production areas in northern China that usually sell pigs to other regions.

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