Beijing Tries To Fix African Swine Fever Crisis, Some Farms Fail In Sterilization

China pigs
A pig is seen on the farm of pig farmer Han Yi at a village in Changtu county, Liaoning province, China January 17, 2019. Picture taken January 17, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Ryan Woo/File Photo)

China's bout with African swine fever refuses to come to an end as authorities revealed that proper sterilization is still a huge problem. While the Chinese government has reportedly done everything possible to stop the spread of ASF, some farms failed in containing the virus.

According to CNN, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Chinese authorities handling the issue have done their part in trying to stop the spread of the virus that saw the death of thousands of pigs.

"They've done everything they could possibly do to control the disease," FAO representative in China, Vincent Martin, said of the issue. He said Beijing followed through with necessary measures to try to contain the virus.

Martin explained that some farms may not have appropriate or adequate equipment and practices that will help control swine fever from spreading to other regions. Furthermore, both farmers and authorities fear accidental reintroduction of ASF to farms that lack protective measures.

China is currently the world's biggest pig meat consumer. Demand is expected to soar throughout 2019 but inadequate supply is yet another problem that Beijing is faced with.

As part of the country's efforts in containing the disease, China is poised to take down up to a third of its total pig produce this year. The widespread control measure is expected to drive global pork prices.

According to Business Insider, Rabobank said it is expecting to see a massive cut in China's pork produce. The Netherlands bank forecasted around 25 percent to 35 percent less pig meat off of China's previously booming pork industry.

So far, Chinese farms have killed around 1.02 million pigs and ASF has already spread in Hainan. Other Asian countries have also been affected including Cambodia and Vietnam, the FAO confirmed.

Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture reported the first outbreak in Liaoning, the North Korean border town. African swine fever has since spread in many other mainland China provinces and it is unclear when the virus will be completely contained.

While China's pork industry is expected to receive the harshest of beatings due to the outbreaks, analysts said soybean imports will also be largely affected by the issue.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it is expecting China's soybean demand to drop further this year as farmers will most likely reduce feed rations with the loss of pigs throughout the country, Hellenic Shipping News reported.

Soybean is a commodity among Chinese pig farmers as it is the main component of pig feed. Industry analysts said African swine fever and the China-U.S. trade war may further reduce demand levels for soybean imports.

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