The ‘invincible’ virus -African swine fever is ravaging China’s pig sector and eliminating it could take decades

The ‘invincible’ virus -African swine fever is ravaging China’s pig sector and eliminating it could take decades


The deadly pig virus that jumped from Africa to Europe is now ravaging China’s €113bn pork industry and spreading to other Asian countries; an unprecedented disaster that has prompted Beijing to slaughter millions of pigs. But stopping African swine fever isn’t so easy.

The virus that causes the disease is highly virulent and tenacious, and spreads in multiple ways. There’s no safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection, nor anything to treat it.

The number of pigs China will fatten this year is predicted to fall by 134m, or 20pc, from 2018 – the worst annual slump since the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)began counting China’s pigs in the mid-1970s.

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