In this file:


·         China’s battle with African swine fever

·         African swine fever poses big threat to Iowa's pork industry



China’s battle with African swine fever


By Alistair Driver, Pig World (UK) 

March 8, 2019


Alistair Driver reports on how the spread of African swine fever is affecting the world’s biggest pig producing country


China’s pork industry has been rocked by the discovery and subsequent spread of Africa swine fever (ASF) across the entire country.


Around 100 cases have been officially confirmed since the first case was reported in August 2018, but that figure does not reflect the impact the disease is having on the world’s biggest pig producer.


More than 950,000 pigs have died or been culled as the virus has reached, at the time of writing, 28 of China’s 34 provinces.


In late-February, it was discovered for the first time, on a farm with 4,500 pigs, in Shandong, which produces approximately 7% of China’s pigs, a further blow for the industry and the authorities, which have struggled to contain the virus, despite a whole host of control measures.


Restrictions have been placed on the transport of live pigs, live markets have been closed and there has been a clamp down on swill feeding, a practice blamed for one-third of the first 68 outbreaks recorded. Spread by vehicles and workers without disinfection (46%) and the transport of live pigs and products (19%) were the other two main routes of infection, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.


The majority of cases have hit smaller producers lacking biosecurity, although one huge herd of 74,000 pigs has also been affected. Before a recent spate of outbreaks, the authorities suggested they were getting the disease under control.


Many experts have questioned this, given the lack of biosecurity on many of China’s smaller farms and the high density of pigs in many parts of the country.


“It seems likely that China will be unable to contain the spread of ASF in the coming year, meaning further culling can be expected,” AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins said.


The regularity with which the virus is turning up in food, for both pig and human consumption, reinforces this view. One major Chinese food manufacturer was forced into a product recall after the virus was found in dumplings last month.


It is also turning up in port checks by China’s neighbours, who are on high alert. Japan discovered an infected sausage in the luggage of a traveller from China in December, while Taiwan has found the virus in 20 samples out of 928 tested at airports since August. All came from China, except one recently from Vietnam, where ASF was detected for the first time in February, with outbreaks reported in four provinces near the Chinese border.


While nearly a million pigs culled is not yet a major indent into China’s 450 million- strong pig herd, the impact has been much wider...





African swine fever poses big threat to Iowa's pork industry


Cynthia Fodor, KCCI Des Moines

Mar 7, 2019




U.S. agricultural officials announced Thursday steps to keep African swine fever, a highly contagious disease deadly for pigs, out of the country, as it could obliterate one of Iowa’s key exports.


There have been 87 outbreaks of the disease across eight countries in Asia and Europe. Though African swine fever has not hit the United States, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig said the increasing threat -- in addition to the ongoing trade war with China -- has farmers even more worried.


“If you shut down every export market, that would have an immediate impact on our producers and then a ripple effect to corn and soybean farmers, which are feed suppliers to the industry,” Naig said.


Brigades of beagles are being trained to check cargo and sniff out infected pork products at seaports and airports to keep the disease from coming ashore.


“We receive all kinds of feed ingredients from China,” Naig said. “The virus could be present in those products as well.”


Jamee Eggers, with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, said that, if the disease hits U.S. agriculture, the result would be “devastating,” especially in Iowa, where there are 23 million pigs.


Eggers said the Iowa Pork Producers Association advises farmers to take preventative measures by monitoring the disease, recognizing early signs of the disease and spreading the news.


African swine fever cannot harm humans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and veterinarians are planning a state response.


“You have to live in that world, expecting it could happen and stay vigilant,” Naig said...


more, including video reports [1:41 min. & 1.12 min.]