China bans hog imports from India to prevent African swine fever

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/28 17:58:40

Pigs are seen at pig farmer Chang Xianyun's pigsty in Neixiang County, central China's Henan Province, Nov. 27, 2019. (Xinhua/Lu Yun)

China is set to ban imports of pigs, wild boar and related products from India in an effort to prevent African swine fever (ASF) and ensure the safety of China's animal husbandry, according to a joint notice issued by the General Administration of Customs of China and the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs on Wednesday.

The ban comes after tensions between the two countries flared up in Galwan Valley region due to India's recent, illegal construction of defense facilities on the border to Chinese territory.

India reported its first case of ASF in both domestic pigs and wild boar in Assam earlier in this month. The disease has killed more than 14,000 pigs in the border state of Assam, according to media reports.

ASF prevention and control in China has achieved initial results. Since the beginning of this year, the numbers of reported infections, pigs requiring treatment and dead pigs have also shown downward trends, according to the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs.

Hog production recovery has gained momentum and the downward trend for pork prices is clear, Ma Wenfeng, a senior analyst at the Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultancy, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"The pork supply is expected to recover by next year," he said.

The prices in the wholesale market have retreated for 13 consecutive weeks, down 23 percent from their highest level, said the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu on May 22.

The disease first broke out in China in August 2018, when the first case was confirmed in Northeast China's Liaoning Province. That pushed the average pork price up to 51.77 yuan ($7.10) per kilogram in 2019.

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