China floods blamed for fresh African swine fever outbreaks

Source: Reuters/Farm Journal’s Pork, 10 July 2020, photo credit: AFP – Getty Images/NBC News

BEIJING (Reuters) – Outbreaks of deadly African swine fever are surging in some parts of southern China following heavy rains, analysts and industry sources said, in what could be a big setback for Beijing’s goal of replenishing pork supplies. 

China’s hog herd, by far the world’s largest, shrank last year by around 180 million pigs, or 40%, after the incurable disease decimated farms. Pig producers are building new farms and restocking amid the push to restore lost pork production and tame runaway meat prices. 

But while African swine fever outbreaks have declined, partly due to smaller herds and better hygiene, the disease remains an obstacle to herd recovery. African swine fever is typically fatal for pigs but does not affect people. 
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.