China says using ASF vaccine could spread disease
China’s government said Monday that pig-breeders or farm industries that use vaccines against African swine fever could be responsible for spreading the disease further, as the country seeks to crack down on the dissemination of the drugs.
China’s ministry of agriculture and rural affairs said in a statement that it had yet to approve any vaccine and that the makers of the drugs would be banned from producing any vaccine in China if caught.
“As of now, countries around the world including China have not yet approved an African swine fever vaccine to be sold in the market. They are all illegal vaccines,” the ministry added.
The world’s largest pig-producing country is attempting to develop a vaccine to combat African swine fever, a disease that has caused the size of China’s pig herd to fall nearly 33% in July this year compared to the same month last year.
However, over the past few months several vaccines have reportedly been found in the Chinese market, raising fears that they could lead to further oubtreaks of the disease.
Activities involving producing, selling and using one of those vaccines is “serious illegal conduct” and individuals or companies who were involved in such activities will be “banned for life”, the ministry said.
China has reported more than 140 outbreaks of ASF disease across all provinces in the country since August last year.
The development of ASF has been closely watched by both the animal feed and meat industry in China, as a large part of China’s total soybean imports are crushed into soymeal to feed the country’s massive pig industry.
Pork prices in China have risen to an all-time high this month as pork supply has shrunk in the country.
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