African swine fever reported on China’s Hainan island

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has reported an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) at a pig farm on China’s Hainan island. A major outbreak of the virus in 2018 saw pork prices pushed up as output fell.

On Tuesday, the OIE issued a notification saying that ASF, which is harmless to humans but deadly to pigs, had been reported at a pig farm in China. The farm is located on Hainan, an island just south of mainland China.  

A 2021 Chinese study estimated that the 2018-2019 outbreak contributed to a total economic loss of 0.78% to China’s gross domestic product in 2019. The outbreak led to the deaths and culling of millions of pigs and a huge rise in the price of pork – China’s most-eaten meat.

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Tuesday’s report is not the first such outbreak of swine flu registered in China this year. Earlier in 2021, a number of cases were noted in Sichuan – the country’s top hog-producing province.    

China is the world’s top pork producer and is home to half of the globe’s pigs. 

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