BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s agriculture ministry said on Monday it had confirmed a new outbreak of African swine fever in Hunan province in the country’s south, marking the 50th outbreak of the deadly disease in the world’s top pork producer.
The case, on a small farm of 119 pigs in Baojing county, near the border with Chongqing, follows two cases reported over the weekend, one in Chongqing municipality, close to Baojing.
The disease, which cannot be cured and has no vaccine, has reached 14 provinces and municipalities in China since it was first detected in early August. Most of the recent cases have been in the south, which has the country’s highest pork consumption per capita.
Beijing has banned the feeding of kitchen waste to pigs, stepped up controls on transportation of live animals, and ordered a crackdown on slaughterhouses processing sick pigs, among other efforts aimed at controlling the spread of the disease.
Sick animals may still be getting into the food chain, however. Taiwan last week reported that it had found the African swine fever virus in a sausage product made by top processor Shuanghui that had been imported from China.
Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Tom Hogue