The leading producer of pork in the world, China, is battling an African swine fever outbreak that could significantly damage the country’s production. The disease, which according to the authorities, is no danger to humans as it is only affecting pigs and wild boar was detected in several locations across the vast Asian country, and it’s not yet known how many pigs were harmed or killed by the disease, precisely.
This African swine fever outbreak occurred in China right when the country was seeking to move from small farmyards for pigs to large breeding operations.
China is the world’s largest pork producer with hundreds of millions of pigs grown annually. Additionally, pork is a fundamental ingredient in the Chinese cuisine accounting for 60 percent of all the animal protein consumed by Chinese people.
The pork market is highly volatile in China, and the Chinese Government even keeps a frozen reserve to release on the market anytime when the demand is too high.
China hit by an African swine fever outbreak
So far, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture, around 90 pigs died of the African swine fever in the city of Lianyungang since the emergence of the disease in the most populated country in the world. Also, about 615 hogs got infected since August 15th, according to Reuters.
According to the country’s health officials, the disease emerged in East Asia at the beginning of this month, has no vaccine against it, and is not affecting humans, so there is no threat to the population of the country.
Last Thursday an African swine fever outbreak was reported in the Henan province in central China, too, at about 600 kilometers away from Zhengzhou, the province’s capital city.
African swine fever virus causes a hemorrhagic fever which is lethal for pigs, causing death in as little as one week after infection.