Leading businessman claims China cover-ups led to fast spreading of ASF

Sun Dawu, chairman of Hebei Dawu Group, a conglomerate that includes several large pig farms, told British broadcaster Sky News that cover-ups by the Chinese government led to African swine fever spreading faster.

Mr Sun told the news channel: “For local governments, they are too afraid to take responsibility. It’s a very common phenomenon to hide cases of ASF.

“In places where ASF happened, people panicked and tried to sell their pigs quickly… then the sick pigs were sent to places which didn’t have ASF yet. I’m very angry at the government.”

In February, Mr Sun slaughtered 15,000 of his pigs to prevent the spread of the disease, even though government inspectors had declared the herd healthy.

He blew the whistle with a post on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform. It was the first admission of ASF in Hebei province, he said, and the post went viral.

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