Pork back on the menu in Hong Kong after live pigs return following three-day cleaning of city’s slaughterhouses amid concerns over African swine fever


Rachel Leung, South China Morning Post

via Yahoo! News - 7 February 2019


Live pigs were back on Hong Kong butchers’ tables on Friday, after a three-day ban on fresh pork to allow the city’s slaughterhouses to be cleaned amid concerns over African swine fever.


Butchers at Tai Po Hui wet market said prices jumped more than 10 per cent as a result of a 20 per cent increase in wholesale prices from HK$1,500 per 100 catty to HK$1,800 per 100 catty.


“It’s still a holiday in mainland China and, with less supply, prices are expected to increase … but we tried not to shift the cost onto our customers,” said a man surnamed Pong, the owner of a meat stall at the market.


Pong said the price hike was more or less the same as during the same period last year.


“A 10 per cent increase is common for this time of year, regardless of the ban,” he said.


He said the suspension on live pigs could not have come at a better time, as consumer demand for fresh pork usually dipped during Lunar New Year.


“I believe the authorities took that into consideration when planning the closure of the slaughterhouses,” he said.


Hong Kong’s pork industry in January proposed halting the supply of live pigs to the city over the Lunar New Year holiday period, to ­conduct ­thorough cleansing ­operations after nearly 1 million pigs were slaughtered in mainland China to get the disease under control.


For the past three days, the city’s two main slaughterhouses in Sheung Shui and Tsuen Wan, and another smaller slaughterhouse in Cheung Chau, have been closed for sanitation.


The owner of another shop at the wet market, selling Iberian ham, said prices had gone up about 15 per cent on Friday. The woman, who gave her name as Wan, was not worried the hike would sour shoppers’ appetites...


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