Farmers jam drones spreading swine fever virus, civilian flights lose GPS

“A Chinese pig farm’s attempt to ward off drones — said to be spreading African swine fever — jammed the navigation systems of a number of planes flying overhead,” reports the South China Morning Post.

The farm, in northeastern China, was ordered last month to turn in an unauthorised anti-drone device installed to prevent criminal gangs dropping items infected with the disease, according to online news portal Thepaper.cn.

The device came to light after a series of flights to and from Harbin airport complained about losing GPS signals while flying over Zhaozhou county in Heilongjiang in late October. In some cases, the ADS-B tracking technology — which determines an aircraft’s position via satellite navigation —  failed.

Only in China? For more on why the farmers fear the drones, see our translation: The Chinese gangsters using drones to spread African swine fever.

—Jeremy Goldkorn