October 9, 2018 / 2:23 AM / 9 days ago

China bans pig imports from Japan, Belgium over swine fever

BEIJING (Reuters) - China banned imports of pigs, wild boars and products from Belgium after an outbreak of African swine fever, as well as imports from Japan after a regular swine fever outbreak, the General Administration of Customs said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A customer pays a vendor at a market in Beijing, China, March 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The move follows a similar ban on imports from Bulgaria on Monday, and comes as the northeastern province of Liaoning reported a second outbreak of highly contagious African swine fever in two days.

China, the world’s largest pig producer, has reported a series of African swine fever outbreaks since early August and has banned the transport of live hogs and products from regions where the disease was found and neighbouring provinces, to control the spread of the deadly virus.

The latest ban followed two African swine fever outbreaks confirmed in Belgium in September, and a case of regular swine fever in Japan in the same month, China’s customs said in a statement posted on its official WeChat account.

China also ordered the return or destruction of products shipped from the two countries.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Hallie Gu; editing by Richard Pullin

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