September 7, 2019 / 3:06 AM / 11 days ago

China vice premier urges hog production recovery amid swine fever

FILE PHOTO: China's Vice Premier Hu Chunhua speaks next to Britain's Chancellor Philip Hammond (not pictured) at a joint news conference following talks on economic and financial ties between the two countries in London, Britain June 17, 2019. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua has urged the country’s main hog production areas to step up efforts to stabilise and recover production, state news agency Xinhua reported, amid a highly damaging outbreak of African swine fever.

The deadly disease, first detected in China a year ago, has slashed the country’s pig herd by almost a third and pushed hog prices to record highs.

“Ensuring stable pork supply is one of the most urgent tasks for the country’s work on agriculture, rural areas and farmers,” Hu said in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, an important hog production area, Xinhua reported late on Friday.

“All main hog production areas should develop hog production and pork supply plans and fulfil related targets,” Hu added.

Policy support will be enhanced to promote production, while more efforts will be taken to prevent and control swine fever, the report cited Hu as saying.

There is no cure and no vaccine for African swine fever, which has hit every province in the world’s top pork producer after first being reported in the country a year ago.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; editing by Darren Schuettler

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