China Swine Industry Confident Following COVID-19

Happy holidays! We hope you have a special season and enjoy good times with your loved ones and maybe a couple of podcasts! Here is our latest episode from “At The Meeting… Honoring Dr. Bob Morrison” in collaboration with SwineCast.

Today’s podcast looks at how China’s ability to reduce the incidence of COVID-19 has given their commercial swine industry the confidence to expand.

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ASF and PED alter China swine production: a podcast

Podcasts are a perfect way to get caught up with new swine information! We are presenting you the latest episode from “At The Meeting… Honoring Dr. Bob Morrison” in collaboration with SwineCast.

‘At The Meeting’ Honoring Dr. Bob Morrison focuses on how African Swine Fever (ASF) and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) have driven changes in farm design and biosecurity in China, allowing China’s swine industry to regain an estimated 80 percent of its swine herd.

Continue reading “ASF and PED alter China swine production: a podcast”

Illegal importation of pork products from China into Japan

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

This week we are sharing a summary of a publication of Lei et al. regarding the illegal importation of pork products coming from China into Japan, especially in the context of African Swine Fever.

Key Points

  • Importation of infected pork and contaminated pork products is a known source of disease introduction into naive countries.
  • A study was conducted to assess the risk of disease introduction through illegal pork imports and to identify factors affecting perception and behavior regarding illegal imports.
  • A significant association between perception of difficulty of importing a pork product in their luggage, knowledge of illegality, and actual illegal importation was found.
  • Compared to an earlier survey, the results from this suggest that government education and enforcement measures have made a measurable impact
Continue reading “Illegal importation of pork products from China into Japan”

ASF threat: 3 swine vets share insights from the frontline

The rapid spread of African swine fever (ASF) throughout China and other regions of the world has raised concerns the disease will ultimately make its way to the US — a development that could cripple the nation’s pork industry if it doesn’t adequately prepare.

That was the ominous warning of three US swine veterinarians who came together for a roundtable discussion on ASF following their recent trip to China. Among them was Dr. John Deen from the University of Minnesota, coming back from the Leman China conference.

Follow the link to listen to their podcast.

The informative session was organized by the editors of Pig Health Today and sponsored by Zoetis.

ASF update: Swine Disease Global Surveillance bi-monthly report

This report was published by the Swine Health Information Center and prepared by the University of Minnesota.

Epidemiological Situation

Belgium

On September 14th, the OIE official report of the 1st ASF case in Belgium was released, confirming our previous report. On Saturday, 15th, the Federal Agriculture minister confirmed three new cases in the same area of the initial report, identified in wild boars found dead in the city of Etalle (Luxembourg province), near the border with France.

On Friday evening, a multisectoral meeting took place in Belgium, where the farming, meat and animal feed sectors asked for priority measures against the spread of African Swine Fever to be in place. In the joint statement coming from that meeting, they draw up five possible critical needs/measures to mitigate the disease spreading: a European plan to define and maintain the affected zone; the creation of a committee dedicated to the export of meat and pork products; a regulated slaughtering and butchering method for pigs in the area which is under tight surveillance; a realistic and feasible plan to reduce the boar population in the country; and finally the creation of a crisis communication committee.

Arrangements are being done to ban the movement, hunting and feeding of wild boars in the region to control the spread of the disease by human interaction. An investigation and monitoring program is being implemented, with the support of European experts.

China

With the reporting of two new outbreaks today (September 14th), unofficially, there have been 21 ASF outbreaks reported in China. The last two reported outbreaks included (a) 16 hogs with sudden death in the Inner Mongolian Province, and (b) a farm in Henan Province, with 148 infected pigs and 43% fatality rate. Officially, however, the OIE WAHIS platform still reports only 19 outbreaks in six provinces (Figures 1 and 2). Although the cause of ASF introduction into China remains unclear, in March, 2018, FAO alerted for the risk of introduction of ASF into the country by illegal introduction of animals or food. There are also concerns that, similarly to what has been reported in Europe, wild boars may play a role in the spread of the disease.

Control Activities

Approximately 40,500 pigs have been culled since the beginning of the epidemic, with mortality rates that varied between 0 and 23.17% (Figure 1). The Chinese government reported checking pigs in thousands of sites, which may have resulted in the increase of the identification of new outbreaks. In an attempt to contain the spread of the disease, all transport of live animals from infected provinces is restricted, feed policy is being adjusted to the current scenario, and the logistics of the industry and the Chinese market are being reviewed. On September 13th, the use of food waste and pig blood as feed for pigs in ASF-infected and neighboring provinces was banned. Also, testing pig feed to ASF will be required, and positive samples will trigger destruction of the whole batch of feed.

Disease Impact

China is considering to import meat from other markets, including the European Union, that in 2017 faced an intense decline in pork exports. US hog market is also currently facing a low price market, however with expansion in number of sows and pork produced. International trade is at risk once ASF is spreading rapidly into consolidated markets like Europe and China, and concerns are growing around the globe.

 

Figure 1: Summary of outbreaks of African Swine Fever in China. Nineteen outbreaks were reported to OIE, in 6 provinces: Lianoning, Henan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Heilongjiang (Source: OIE – WAHIS).

 

Figure 2: Chinese provinces with reported ASF outbreaks (Lianoning, Henan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Heilongjiang). The intensity of the green shade depicts the number of culled animals, with the Province of Liaoning (darkest green) showing the highest cull rate.