The China Ministry of Agriculture reported today (computer translated) on an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak on a farm in Qingcheng County, Gansu Province in northwest China.

Image/Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Image/Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture

This is the first outbreak recorded in Gansu and the 24th Chinese province affected by the epidemic.

The outbreak occurred on a farm with 109 live pigs, infecting 44 of the animals and killing nine, according to agriculture officials.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs sent a steering group to the local area. The local government has started the emergency response mechanism as required, and adopted measures such as blockade, culling, harmless treatment, disinfection, etc., to treat all the sick and culled pigs harmlessly. At the same time, all pigs and their products are prohibited from being transferred out of the blockade, and pigs are prohibited from being transported into the blockade.

ASF poses no direct health threat to humans; however, in its most virulent strain, it is 100 percent fatal to infected pigs.

African Swine Fever in Asia: ‘Just the tip of the iceberg’

It is a major threat to the swine industry and to the livelihoods of small scale farmers and others along the value chain. China produces half of the world’s pigs – with a current population of some 500-million swine.