China and Bulgaria confirm new ASF cases

China has today confirmed a new outbreak of African swine fever in the central province of Hubei.

Reuters reported the outbreak in the city of Honghu killed three pigs on a farm of 32 pigs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement on its website.

China, the world’s biggest pork consumer, has reported more than 140 outbreaks of African swine fever since the first case in August last year.

Bulgarian authorities, meanwhile, said that it would cull 17,000 pigs after detecting an outbreak of ASF at a breeding farm in the north of the country, the fifth industrial farm hit by the fast-spreading virus.

Irish broadcaster RTÉ reported th outbreak was detected at a farm in the village of Balgarsko Slivov, near the Danube town of Svishtov.

More than 100,000 pigs have already been culled at another four farms in the past two weeks.

The broadcaster said that Bulgarian President Rumen Radev is today meeting with veterinary and other experts tasked with taking action to tackle the spread of African swine fever.

Analysts said that the price of pork in Bulgaria has increased by up to 30% in less than a month because of outbreaks of the disease. The price could rise a further 15% in the autumn, they said.

On Monday of this week, 20-kilometre sanitary zones were being set up around all 62 registered industrial pig farms in the country and home-breeding of pigs without bio-security measures will not be allowed within the zones.

Authorities have already declared a state of emergency in several districts in northern Bulgaria, where there have been outbreaks among home-raised pigs.

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