China launches crackdown of illegal hog slaughtering

BEIJING, Dec 2 (Reuters) -

* China has begun a three-month campaign to crack down on illegal hog slaughtering, in an effort to ensure meat safety during the upcoming New Year holiday and Spring Festival, the agriculture ministry said on Monday

* Local agriculture departments and market regulators were requested to strictly monitor any illegal activity by slaughterhouses, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website

* Behaviour such as slaughtering, processing and selling diseased or suspected diseased hogs will be punished with the top penalty and transferred to the police for criminal responsibility, the ministry said.

* China’s Vice Premiere Hu Chunhua said at the weekend that the country must recover pig production numbers and stabilise pork supply in key periods of early 2020.

* Chinese pork prices rose on Monday in the first meaningful rebound in more than a month (Reporting by Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; Editing by Susan Fenton)