China’s agriculture ministry said it will carry out checks on local veterinary authorities in 10 provinces as it tries to slow the ongoing spread of African swine fever.
The investigations come after China’s cabinet said earlier this month there were deficiencies in the country’s efforts to control and prevent the disease, which has reached every province of the country and is still spreading, almost a year after the first outbreak.
Reuters reported that China’s vice agriculture minister Yu Kangzhen said the ministry was looking into reports of underreporting. He also said some places lacked the people and money to prevent and control the disease.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement online that it will evaluate the veterinary agencies from two sample counties in the following provinces and regions: Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Henan, Anhui, Guangxi, Fujian, Sichuan, Yunnan and Shaanxi.
The evaluations will be completed by October 31 and a report on the findings will be submitted to the ministry by December 31.
Dirk Pfeiffer, a professor of veterinary epidemiology at the City University of Hong Kong, said: “This is what is needed. At a national level and even provincial level the policies were okay, but there were shortcomings in the way they were translated. And that’s something that needs to be worked out to stop this disease.”