Saturday, January 12, 2019

China MOA: Two ASF Outbreaks In Jiangsu Province


After 10 days without reporting any African Swine Fever outbreaks - the longest lull since the disease was first identified in China in early August - China's Ministry of Agriculture has released the following brief (translated) report on a pair of outbreaks at large pig farms in Jiangsu Province.

African swine fever epidemic in Shuyang County, Jiangsu Province

Date: 2019-01-12 16:30 Author: Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Press Office 

The Information Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs was released on January 12, and an African swine fever epidemic occurred in Shuyang County, Jiangsu Province.

On January 12, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs received a report from the China Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center and was diagnosed by the Jiangsu Provincial Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center.
Two farms under the jurisdiction of a company in Shuyang County, Jiangsu Province, had an African swine fever epidemic. Up to now, the above two occasions have recorded 68,969 pigs, 2,452 heads, and 1,369 deaths.

Immediately after the outbreak, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs sent a steering group to the local area. The local authorities have started the emergency response mechanism as required, and adopted measures such as blockade, culling, harmless treatment, disinfection, etc., to treat all the sick and culled pigs harmlessly. At the same time, all pigs and their products are prohibited from being transferred out of the blockade, and pigs are prohibited from being transported into the blockade. At present, the above measures have been implemented.

While ASF does not pose a direct threat to human health, it can be devastating to pork producers, and China is both the largest consumer and producer of pork in the world.
The uncontrolled spread of the virus could seriously disrupt China's economy and impact food security in an already stressed region of the world.
With the Chinese New Year's and the Spring Festival travel season now only a few weeks away -  in late December China's MOA Relaxed Some Rules On Pig Transport in an attempt to ensure the flow of food products to the market over what is certainly the most important holiday in Asia.
In Korea it is called Seollal. While in Vietnam it is celebrated as Tết Nguyên Đán ; the Feast of the First Morning.  Tết for short. By whatever name, the Lunar New Year is undoubtedly the most important holiday in all of Asia.
Each year it inspires the largest migration of humans on the planet as shops and factories are closed to allow hundreds of millions to flee the big cities and return to their home towns for a few days to attend a reunion dinner with their families - preferably on the eve of the lunar New Year.

This annual celebration begins about 15 days before the Lunar New Year (Feb 5th this year) and runs for about 40 days total, during which time more than 2 billion passenger journeys will be made (mostly via crowded rail and bus) across Asia.
As pork food products are a mainstay of these celebrations there are concerns that millions of travelers may attempt to carry potentially infected pork products on their journeys within - and beyond - China's borders. 
As we discussed two days ago (see Taiwan Continues To Intercept Contaminated Foodstuffs), Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea have already intercepted ASF contaminated food products in the luggage of travelers coming from Mainland China.

All of which makes the next 6 to 8 weeks a critical time if China is slow the spread of this porcine disease.

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