China agriculture ministry says can’t rule out new ASF outbreaks
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s agriculture ministry said it cannot rule out the possibility of new African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in the country, it said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
It is not clear how widely the disease has spread, and there is much uncertainty on how the situation will develop, the ministry said in the statement.
The comments came after China reported four cases of ASF in four provinces in less than a month, further highlighting the challenge to Beijing to control the highly contagious disease from spreading through the world’s largest pig herd.
The disease has been in China’s neighbouring countries for a long time and has been spreading constantly, the ministry said, and the risk of ASF transmission remains large.
“The main thing is to prevent and control,” said Mr Ni, a hog trader in central China.
“Since there is no vaccine or cure for the disease, we should get ready for a prolonged battle.”
Beijing has asked local officials to halt transport of live hogs from high risk areas for ASF and strengthen their monitoring of hog transportation, the agriculture ministry said in its statement.
Local government are also inspecting all farms, markets and slaughterhouses in focus areas and high risk regions, under the guidance of the ministry, it said.