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China reports fewer African swine fever outbreaks in 2019

Updated: Jul 4,2019 8:36 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Fewer African swine fever outbreaks were reported this year while the hog production and pork supply were gradually resuming in China, an official said on July 4.

The country has reported 44 outbreaks since the beginning of the year, Vice Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Yu Kangzhen told a news conference.

As of July 3, a total of 143 outbreaks of the highly contagious disease had been reported in China, and more than 1.16 million pigs had been culled since the country reported the first case of African swine fever last August.

The situation of African swine fever prevention and control, however, is still grave as China, the world’s largest pig producer, still needs improvement in fields such as veterinarian development and animal disease control.

The prevention of the infectious disease reflects the lack of animal disease control capabilities at China’s primary-level areas, where professionals, funds and facilities are badly in need, Yu said.

The State Council has asked local governments at or above county level to reinforce animal disease control agencies as well as provide sufficient funds and subsidies for disease prevention work and veterinarians.

The prevention of African swine fever is a global challenge, and so far there is no any vaccine approved, Yu said.

China started the vaccine research after the first outbreak of the disease, but there is still long way to go for developing safe vaccines with controllable quality, Yu said.

More measures will be rolled out to facilitate the recovery of pig production, including offering loans with discounted interests and subsidies for pig farms.