African Swine Fever toll horrific

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By Jim Romahn

New and unofficial estimates put China’s losses from African Swine Fever at 40 to 50 per cent of its breeding herds.

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said African swine fever (ASF) is under control in China in a June 24 article by Xinhua, it’s state news agency.

But people working on farms say the disease has already taken as many as half of China’s breeding pigs.

The government has reported 137 outbreaks so far, but any more are going unreported, most recently in southern provinces such as Guangdong, Guangxi and Hunan, according to four farmers and an official recently interviewed by Reuters news agency.

“Something like 50 per cent of sows are dead,” Edgar Wayne Johnson, a veterinarian who has spent 14 years in China and founded Enable Agricultural Technology Consulting, a Beijing-based farm services firm with clients across the country, told Reuters.

Three other executives who produce vaccines, feed additives and genetics also estimate losses of 40 to 50 per cent, based on falling sales for their companies’ products and direct knowledge of the extent of the deadly disease on farms across the country, Reuters said.

The losses are not just from infected pigs or pigs that are culled from herds that have infected pigs.

”Many farmers are sending pigs to market early when reports of ASF get near their farm. “

That has added pork to supplies, but it’s a short-term situation.

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