Over 34,500 pigs culled in China in the past week due to ASF outbreaks

Over 34,500 pigs have been killed and disposed of in China in the past week due to seven individual outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF).

Statistics available from the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) show that the outbreaks were detected between Friday, October 12, and Sunday, October 14.

The outbreaks were discovered in both backyard farms and larger commercial farms in the Liaoning province of the country which borders North Korea.

The number of animals susceptible in each individual outbreak varied from 81 to 19,938, the statistics show.

Some 1,584 cases of the disease were detected across the seven affected sites – four of which were defined as farms.

Of the 36,046 animals that were susceptible to the disease, a total of 1,537 deaths were recorded. The remaining 34,509 pigs were killed and disposed of.

ASF was first detected in China in August of this year and it has since been discovered in numerous provinces. Since the disease was first detected, thousands of pigs have been culled.

It is understood that China accounts for around 50% of the global population of swine, estimated at 500 million.

ASF is a highly contagious and usually fatal viral disease of pigs. It does not affect humans and meat from pigs does not pose any food safety risk. There is no treatment for ASF in pigs and there is no vaccine currently available.

The disease has been spreading in eastern Europe since it first entered the European Union in 2014. It has recently been detected in wild boars in countries such as Poland, Latvia, Romania and Belgium.