November 20, 2019
China investigates illegal production of ASF vaccines
China's agriculture ministry is investigating the illegal production, sale and use of African swine fever (ASF) vaccines in the country.
Online reports have circulated of pig farmers using unapproved vaccines in an attempt to stop the spread of ASF.
The race to find a vaccine for ASF is not a new one - researchers have been trying to find a vaccine for decades. However, China's devastating outbreak has fueled more research into vaccines for this deadly virus.
In September, China's ministry of agriculture said experimental, homemade or even smuggled vaccines could present biological safety risks to the country. The agency also strongly discouraged farms from using overseas vaccines as vaccines based on other virus strains could worsen the situation, Bloomberg reported.
Meanwhile, China's agriculture minister Han Changfu told officials with nine regional governments to speed up their efforts to raise pig breeding numbers, while adding that supportive measures from Beijing are starting to take effect, Reuters reported.
China is worried about the political implications of a shortage of pork and are boosting incentives for farmers to start increasing pig production.
In a notice on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Han said a recovery in pork production was vital to stabilise prices, and local governments need to work to boost supplies in preparation for Lunar New Year celebrations in late January, Reuters reported.
Officials from nine southern regions were ordered to increase financial assistance and provide more land to pig farmers. However, officials were reminded to ensure zoning restrictions on pig farms are properly implemented.
The wholesale price of pork in China has fallen slightly since the start of the month but it remains 157% higher than last year, Reuters reported.
- Farm Journal's Pork