Chinese vets trigger the alarm on new ASF strains
China's problems on ASF are far from over, as researchers from Changchun Military Veterinary Institute have discovered a new strain of African swine fever. According to them, the strain is less deadly than the one that devastated the local herd. At least two other new strains of the disease have already been found on pig farms in China. They are causing a chronic form of ASF that is affecting production on parent farms. Scientists are saying the virus appears to have undergone a natural mutation. On the other hand, some of the strains analyzed earlier presented characteristics attributed to strains believed to have been made for use in illicit vaccines.
On the other hand, experts from North America are convinced the Chinese pig inventory will drop again this year, despite the efforts made in rebuilding the herd.
"The widespread inoculation of substandard (illegal) ASF vaccines has made inoculated pigs infectious with mutated African Swine Fever virus. Mortality of infectious pigs can reach 70% which obviously cuts hog supply. What is even more frightening is that the modified virus can be transmitted through the air. If one pig is vaccinated the whole farm may be infected by African Swine Fever. One other report estimates some provinces sow inventory have declined 50%. Due to the rise of sow slaughter, the inventory of sows is estimated nationally to have declined 1.76 million in the 3 months November 2020 to January 2021 (10%)", commented Jim Long, President and CEO of Genesus.
From his perspective, China's pork production recovery will slow down, leading to more pork imports for the following months.
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