August 7, 2018 / 10:34 AM / 4 months ago

China must eradicate swine fever epidemic as soon as possible: agriculture ministry

BEIJING (Reuters) - China must eradicate the African swine fever epidemic as soon as possible, and make sure the country is free of the disease, the country’s agriculture ministry said at an emergency meeting on the outbreak on Tuesday.

The comments came after Liaoning province in northeastern China said it will increase inspections at pig farms and markets, and strengthen the monitoring of hog transportation, following the nation’s first African swine fever case that was reported there last Friday.

Local authorities must step up their coordination and eradicate the epidemic as soon as possible to safeguard the stable and healthy development of the hog industry, China’s deputy agriculture minister Yu Zhen said on Tuesday.

China will tighten quarantine measures at the border and launch widespread inspections, according to the statement published on the website of China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Local authorities must improve oversight of veterinarians, guide pig farms to step up bio-safety management, and promote the upgrade of the hog industry, the ministry said.

China last week culled some 913 hogs near Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning, and banned transportation of hogs from the affected areas, following the outbreak.

(This version of the story corrects headline to read swine fever not swine flu)

Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; Editing by Tom Hogue

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