African swine fever outbreak on Hainan island in China

Two men in white disposable protective suits taking samples of pigs
Local workers collect blood samples at a pig farm in Zhangye, Gansu province, China, October 2019. Source: Reuters

China reported an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) at a pig farm with around 1000 animals on the island province of Hainan, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Tuesday.

The outbreak started on October 23 at the farm with 1063 pigs, OIE said based on information from the Chinese government.

Since 2018, over 100 million pigs have been killed in China after a huge African swine fever outbreak. Farmers got rid of their animals at extremely fast rates. The way they did it was sometimes very inhumane; some farmers buried their pigs alive. Animal welfare organizations worldwide were appalled at how the pigs were treated.

African swine fever is an infectious viral disease in domestic and wild pigs. The virus can result in death, but animals can also recover from it.

So far, authorities worldwide kill entire pig populations, sick and healthy animals, when African swine fever is detected. Countries in Europe and Asia are dealing with the disease.

Pigs are very intelligent and social animals, even more than dogs. When they’re raised solely for food, they never see any daylight or get any moment in their life to live freely.

Half of all the pigs in the world are consumed in China. 

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