China finds more cases of African swine fever on Hainan island
BEIJING, April 21 (Reuters) - China has detected new cases
of African swine fever in six farms across four locations in
Hainan province, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday, adding
to two earlier cases of the contagious disease identified in the
province on Friday.
The disease, which is fatal to pigs but harmless in humans,
has spread to every province on the Chinese mainland since its
initial detection in August 2018.
Authorities previously said they hoped the disease would not
spread to Hainan, an island located off China's southern coast.
Among 517 pigs across the six farms, 146 had died of the
disease, according to a notice posted on Sunday by China's
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
The local government has begun control measures including
quarantine blockades and culling programs, it said.
China is the world's biggest producer and consumer of pork,
and the rapid spread of African swine flu has raised concern of
a potential shortage.
Pork output fell 5.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019
compared with a year earlier, showed official statistics
released last week.
(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
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