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· Chinese Were Detained Because Publishing Dead Pig Video, Media Worried China’s Epidemic Will Impact the World
· Slaughterhouse Test Blitz Ordered to Stem China's Pig Contagion
Chinese Were Detained Because Publishing Dead Pig Video, Media Worried China’s Epidemic Will Impact the World
By Nicole Hao, The Epoch Times
May 8, 2019
Chinese authorities recently detained two Chinese netizens for posting a video online in which they claimed dead hogs lying on the streets had died of African swine fever (ASF).
The authorities had repeatedly denied that the ASF outbreak occurred in the local area.
Two Residents Detained in Qingdao
On April 25, police in Huangdao District of the coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong Province published a statement, where it said two men named Zhao X Xiu, 57, and Zhao X Ye, 53, were detained for ten and seven days respectively because they had spread an illicit video. The police did not fully identify their names by leaving the middle character out.
In the video that Zhao posted on WeChat, a popular Chinese social media platform, more than a hundred pig carcasses can be seen lying near a body of water and inside three nearby trucks. The trucks were marked “Qingdao Yimin Bio-Environment Company,” a carcasses proper disposal company.
Zhao said in the video: “Now it is 2:30 pm on April 24. Look at the pigs, which are being dispensed from the trucks. They [drivers] want the carcasses to get washed away by the river and into the sea.”
Zhao can be heard arguing with one of the drivers whose jacket is also printed with the Qingdao company name.
At 11:48am of April 25, the Qingdao government published a statement via social media explaining that the drivers in the video were not trying to throw the dead pigs in the river, but were in fact picking up the carcasses for proper disposal.
That same day, local police arrested the two Zhaos with the charge, “spreading rumors and disrupting the public order,” and announced that they were being detained.
The statement claimed that these were not pigs that died abnormally, but did not offer an explanation for why there was such a large mass of dead pigs.
Netizens believe the pigs died of ASF.
Yang Shaozheng, a former economics professor at Guizhou University, told Radio Free Asia (RFA) on April 26: “The government should have awarded [Zhaos], who helped to expose the information… [The officials] didn’t solve the problem, but instead punished the ones who found the problem.”
Yang is a famous economist in China, but was fired after he advocated for constitutionalism and the rule of law to his students in August 2018.
Risks of the Outbreak
The ASF outbreak was first reported in Shenyang City, northeastern China, in August 2018. Chinese authorities did not provide an official explanation about the source of the virus, but experts suspect that it was imported pork products from Russia, where ASF has raged since 2007.
ASF is a highly contagious and fatal disease affecting pigs and wild boars, and there is currently no cure or vaccine.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported on May 2 that 129 ASF outbreaks have been detected in all of China’s 31 provinces and regions. 1.02 million pigs have been culled so far.
The outbreak has been exacerbated by farmers who have used ASF-infected pig bones or pig blood to make feed for the living pigs.
Bloomberg also ran an April 24 commentary where it noted Chinese officials know the problem, but “shut down media coverage, while underreporting infection and mortality rates for fear of career and political repercussions.”
The report criticized Chinese authorities for treating ASF as “a serious threat to social stability.”
Bloomberg said the Chinese regime’s response to the outbreak so far portends “the incubator for the next pandemic capable of killing millions of humans.”
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Slaughterhouse Test Blitz Ordered to Stem China's Pig Contagion
Government calls for nationwide testing at 10,000 abattoirs
Number of villages reporting African swine fever is increasing
May 8, 2019
China stepped up efforts to control the deadly pig contagion ravaging its $128 billion pork industry, ordering mandatory testing for African swine fever at more than 10,000 slaughterhouses nationwide.
From July 1, abattoirs must routinely test all batches of hogs representative of the property from which they came. The order Tuesday adds to a suite of measures the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has instituted to arrest an increase this year in the number of villages reporting cases of the viral disease.
Slaughterhouses must buy diagnostic equipment or arrange a third party to perform the tests, the ministry in Beijing said last month. By May 15, every slaughterhouse will be required to have a veterinarian present to supervise testing.
The tighter measures are aimed at safeguarding the food chain and environment from the virus, which isn’t known to harm people. The consumption by hogs of contaminated food waste has been implicated in the spread of the disease, which has reached 31 provinces and territories since August.
These are “important measures to cut off the transmission of African swine fever and lower the risk of further spread,” Vice Minister Yu Kangzhen was quoted as telling a conference on Tuesday.
Blood is the most infectious source of African swine fever and one drop, or 0.05 milliliters, from an acutely infected pig may contain 50 million virus particles. Experimental studies have found that just one virus particle ingested in contaminated drinking water or fodder may be sufficient to infect a single pig.
Contamination of slaughterhouses and their surrounding environment by the virus can create reservoirs of the infectious agent that can be transmitted to exposed pigs and wild boars, the ministry said in a statement on April 30.
“Timely detection of the virus to eliminate hidden dangers is a must to prevent and control animal diseases and ensure product quality and safety,” it said.
Some abattoirs haven’t implemented disease prevention measures, Huang Baoxu, deputy director with China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center, told a conference in Beijing in April.
Pig blood was found to be discarded directly into sewers, potentially contaminating the environment after the government temporarily disallowed the use of the product in animal feed last year, Huang said. The government permitted in January the use of blood in feed as long as the liquid is heat-treated to render any virus non-infectious.
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