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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Further Confirmation of ASF Losses in China


The Ministry of Agriculture of China announced on Tuesday September 3rd that losses attributed to African swine fever (ASF) have attained 100 million hogs both breeders and growing herds.  Both EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS have documented the progress of the infection since it emerged in 2018 and ASF now regarded as endemic and affecting all provinces.


The Ministry is attempting to encourage breeding and restocking.  This is an exercise in futility reminiscent of the punishment meted out to Sisyphus, King of Corinth by Zeus.  The unfortunate victim in mythology was forced to roll a stone up a hill in Hades for eternity only for it to roll down when it neared the top.  Attempting to restock farms in the face of ongoing infection will be a fruitless exercise. Control will only be achieved following deployment of an effective and safe vaccine, currently under development.


The Ministry has announced that it may release reserves of frozen pork to limit the obvious escalation in price associated with the discrepancy between supply and demand.  This is also a hollow objective since frozen pork reserves have already been consumed and the gesture is probably an attempt to placate the population before the October 1st centenary of establishing the Communist Party of China.  Although China is importing pork from Brazil and the EU, the U.S. is at yet not participating due to the 62 percent tariff imposed on U.S. product.  This is notwithstanding the fact that Smithfield Foods, a major U.S. pork producer, is owned by the WH Group of China.

Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane