The world’s largest pork producer has been affected by a new form of african swine fever that has been identified in chinese pig farms according to expertsvand industry insiders.
The strain is most likely caused by illicit, fake and not approved vaccines. Two new strains of african swine fever have infected more than thousands of several farms which are owned by china’s fourth largest producer.
According to Chinese authorities, infections are limited right now, but if the strains spread widely they could decimate pork output in the world’s top consumer and producer.
In 2019, swine fever wiped out 40% of China’s 400 million head big herd and the new strains don’t kill pigs like the disease that affected China’s farms in 2018 and 2019, but they can cause a chronic condition that reduces the number of healthy piglets born. Pork prices reached a record high and China is under pressure to strengthen food security.
Many large producers infected pigs are culled to prevent the spread. There is no approved vaccine for the african swine fever which is not harmful to humans but many chinese farmers are struggling to protect their pigs have now resorted to unproved products and now they fear that those illicit and fake vaccines have created accidental infections which are now spreading.
China’s Ministry of Agriculture and rural affairs has also issued at least three warnings against use of unauthorized for african swine fever vaccines cautioning producers and users that they could be charged with a criminal offense.
The new strains could multiply globally through contaminated meat infecting pigs that are fed on kitchen waste. The virus is known to survive for months in some pork products and China’s Agriculture Ministry said that it would test the pigs for different strains of the virus as part of a nationwide investigation into illegal vaccine use.
There are assumptions that these fake vaccines had been used, but no findings have been published so far on this issue.