Chinese government says all pigs must be tested for ASF before being moved

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has announced that 100% of pigs travelling between provinces will be inspected for five major viruses including African swine fever.

Caixin reported that the announcement, posted to the agricultural ministry’s website, states that quarantine certificates for pigs that are to be transferred to other provinces will be issued “only when the risk assessment meets the requirements.”

The Beijing-based media company reported that investigations into the handling of the ASF outbreak, including by Caixin, found that local governments were issuing the certificates to pigs that could have been exposed to the virus.

After the pigs have been transferred to a different province, the local animal health supervision agencies should supervise the owners of breeding pigs to implement prevention and quarantine measures, the ministry said.

The notice posted on the agriculture ministry’s website also stated that in laboratory tests for ASF, blood samples can be mixed depending on the number of pigs being tested.

It said that “isolation observation measures” should be taken before the samples are taken for testing and before pigs are transferred. The bulletin extends the detection time to seven days before the pigs are transferred.

Meanwhile, China’s General Administration of Customs has announced that beef imports by China jumped to an all-time high in June as the spread of ASF throughout the country boosts demand for alternative sources of animal protein.

Inbound shipments surged 61% on the year to 133,744 tonnes and were up from 123,720 tons in May. Overseas pork purchases in June rose 63% from a year earlier to 160,467 tonnes.

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