UN Calls Emergency Meeting to Curb African Swine Fever Outbreak in China

Alicia Farmer
September 9, 2018

China's most recent African swine fever outbreak occurred on Sept 1 in the township of Changqing in north-eastern Heilongjiang province, about 100 km from the border with Russian Federation, where the disease has been spreading for more than a decade.

Eight new outbreaks have confirmed in less than a week and with the 13 cases overall spread across five provinces and up to 3,000 km between them, there is growing concern about the scale of the outbreak in China and the risk to other countries in Asia. Just $5 a month.

More nations may follow, according to the FAO. The Philippines last week ordered a temporary prohibition on pigs and pig-related products from China, Russia and four European countries to prevent African swine fever.

ASF outbreaks in China are now on the rise with a 100 percent mortality rate as there is now no effective vaccine.

On September 2, MoARA spokesperson Guang Fude revealed that the relevant provinces have already culled as many 40,000 pigs as of September 1.

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"It may be very, very hard to control this epidemic in China".

However, the FAO apparently believes the ASF outbreak is more daunting than the Chinese government has admitted, especially considering that China produces more than half of the world's pigs.

In fact, early in March, the FAO had already warned China about the ASF risk by publishing a report under the title of "African swine fever threatens People's Republic of China".

"By this Friday, we will come up with a framework for the region with priority action plans for each country", said Wantanee Kalpravidh, regional manager of the FAO's Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases, on Wednesday.

With pork such a popular meat in many Asian countries, the FAO said the spread of the virus to China's neighbours is a near certainty, and likely through movements of products containing infected pork.

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