In DepthAnimal Health

Arrival of deadly pig disease could spell disaster for China

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Science  24 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6404, pp. 741
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6404.741

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Summary

A nightmare is unfolding for animal health experts: African swine fever (ASF), a highly contagious, often fatal disease of domestic pigs and wild boars, has appeared in China, the world's largest pork producer. As of 21 August, ASF had been reported at sites in four provinces in China's northeast, thousands of kilometers apart. Containing the disease in a population of more than 430 million hogs, many raised in smallholder farmyards with minimal biosecurity, could be a monumental challenge. Given the scale of China's pork sector, the economic impact could be devastating, and the outbreak puts a crucial protein source in China at risk.

  • With reporting by Bian Huihui.