China to start ASF tests in large farms
Testing kits for African swine fever (ASF) virus will be distributed to companies that own large pig farms if they want to carry out tests on the disease in their units, informs the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Previously, the Beijing authorities did not permit commercial companies to carry out tests for the disease even if the outbreaks have hit hard the pig sector in the country.
Large-scale farms and farms that raise pigs for breeding will be allowed to carry their own tests for ASF and local authorities have been urged by the ministry to help entrepreneurs to obtain these kits.
China is the home of the largest hog herd and it is confronted with multiple ASF outbreaks since August 2018. The virus has been confirmed even in the country's remote Tibet Autonomous Region, in two farms located near the Indian border. More than 22 provinces have been affected by AFS in the last 9 months and since the beginning of this year, the virus has been confirmed in Mongolia, Vietnam and Cambodia. The worst-case scenario, presented by Rabobank analysts, talks about losses of 25% to 35% in Chinese pork production leading to a shift in global trade patterns. From this perspective, testing for ASF virus in large enterprises looks like one last attempt to limit the losses that the Chinese pork industry is expected to witness in mid-term.