African swine fever outbreak in China altering global crop and livestock patterns

african-swine-fever-outbreak

At least 130 African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks were reported across China since August 2018. The virus is killing pigs across the globe and could alter global crop and livestock patterns.

China Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) reported April 23 that 1 026 000 pigs (nearly 20% of country's total pig inventory) have already been culled in an effort to halt the further spread, but the number is still increasing and sending shockwaves through global meat markets.

The prices have jumped up to 40%, AP reported May 20.

Image credit: FAO

"While official sources confirm a rapid spread of the disease, both the speed and severity of the spread could prove more pronounced than currently assumed," the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

There are no vaccines to stop the spread of the virus, and a mass cull is the only method to prevent further outbreaks. The virus is not harmful to humans, but it can lead to haemorrhagic fever in pigs.

Featured image credit SCMP

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