African swine fever epidemic is now ‘serious’


Agence France-Presse reports on a joint statement (in Chinese) by China’s ministries of agriculture, transport, and public security that warns, “African swine fever has spread rapidly to more than half of China’s provinces despite measures to contain it,” and that “a situation previously described as under control had become ‘very serious’” (十分严峻 shífēn yánjùn).

  • The warning comes after a new outbreak on a farm of 636 pigs in Hubei Province. Thirteen of those pigs have already died and another 24 are sick, according to Reuters.
  • Seventeen provinces have reported outbreaks, and the epidemic has spread “to large pig-farming provinces in southern China.” China reported the first case in August in northeastern Liaoning Province.
  • The three ministries’ notice calls for tight supervision of the transport of live pigs to prevent the disease from spreading further.   
  • The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned in August that the disease “is accelerating and will almost certainly emerge in other countries in Asia.” Taiwan has already banned the online sale of meat products from China amid fears of swine fever, according to Focus Taiwan.