November 13, 2019


Unauthorised African swine fever vaccines being used in China


A veterinary expert and other unidentified people in Jiangsu said millions of swine were given at least three illegally procured products, reported Caixin Media China.


Caixin also referred to a veterinary expert in Guangdong, who said the illegal African swine fever (ASF) vaccines were used after the suppliers signed confidentially contracts with farmers. This led to farmers suffering massive losses.


The vaccines effects were varied - some swine treated with the vaccine were reported to contract a disease that caused dying skin tissue, some female swine which were pregnant aborted, and some swine had no side effects but died from ASF.


Zhang Guihong, professor of veterinary medicine from South China Agricultural University said the increased use of unauthorised ASF vaccines has made it more difficult to eliminate ASF in the country.


This was because different illegal vaccines were given at the same time in some swine farms, which makes it harder to segregate swine which may or may not have been treated with the illegal vaccine. It is also challenging to distinguish the vaccine's safety and effectiveness.


In September, China's Agriculture Ministry warned against the use of homemade, experimental or smuggled ASF vaccines as this could result in a biological safety risk to China. The Ministry also warned against importing vaccines from overseas, as the ASF strain affecting China's swine population belong to genotype 2 - vaccines which are meant to be used for other strains could make eliminating ASF more difficult. 


-      Caixin Media China (via Bloomberg)