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China to ban feeding kitchen waste to pigs in ASF spread

Article-China to ban feeding kitchen waste to pigs in ASF spread

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China is poised to take over the No. 1 spot as the world's largest economy by 2030.
China implicates feeding kitchen waste to pigs in early cases of African swine fever outbreak; livestock transport vehicles to be registered.

Reuters reported Oct. 24 that China’s agriculture ministry said it would ban the feeding of kitchen waste to pigs after linking the practice to the majority of the early cases of African swine fever (ASF) in the country.

Reuters said the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs statement is the government’s first comment on how the deadly disease has spread in the world’s top pork producer. However, China has not yet said how the disease first entered the country. The ministry reported that it found that 62% of the first 21 outbreaks were related to the feeding kitchen waste, a statement published on its website said.

China has reported more than 40 outbreaks of the highly contagious disease since early August, with farms across 12 provinces and municipalities already infected.

“These outbreaks were mostly located in urban/rural boundaries and were particularly evident in several cases in early September in Anhui province,” the statement said according to Reuters. 

The virus was also detected in kitchen waste fed to pigs on a farm in the Inner Mongolia region, it added.

“After the provinces with outbreaks and neighboring provinces completely banned feeding of kitchen waste to pigs, the epidemic was greatly reduced, which fully demonstrates the importance of completely prohibiting the feeding of waste,” the statement said.

Kitchen waste, or swill, is widely used in China to feed hogs, particularly by small farmers, as it is cheaper than manufactured pig feed, Reuters reported. Regulations require that the swill must be heated to a certain temperature before being consumed, but industry experts say that step is often skipped.

Vehicle registration

The ministry also said in the statement it will set up a registration system for vehicles transporting live hogs, poultry and other livestock to control the spread of the disease better, Reuters reported.

The long-distance transport of live hogs has been the main channel for transmitting ASF across different regions, the ministry said.

Reuters said the agriculture ministry also called for more slaughtering closer to farms and the use of refrigerated transportation to better manage the supply of livestock across different regions.

In recent years, China has promoted construction of new farms in the northeast, closer to its grain supplies. However, the policy, which has not yet been accompanied by investment in new slaughterhouses, has led to large numbers of pigs being trucked long distances south.

Reuters supplied a graphic on the ASF outbreak in China.

TAGS: Swine
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