The government’s disease report claimed this was the first ever case of ASF in China, and that it had swept across from Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia over the past few months.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has carried out risk assessments in China and concluded that the country’s north-eastern region is the most likely area to be affected by the disease.
Disease control measures have been put in place, such as culling affected and susceptible animals across the infected areas.
“The detection of ASF on a pig farm in China, just north of North Korea, on 1 August 2018, represents a new jump in geographic spread,” the report said. “Its origin is unknown at present. It is also unknown whether this represents the index case. China carries out early warning surveillance in this region, but it is focused on large commercial pig farms, rather than the small semi-commercial and backyard sectors.”
Following the news, countries such as Japan have tightened quarantine operations at airports and seaports, especially for travellers from Shenyang and Dalian, near where the infection was found.
Japan will be using more sniffer dogs than usual and alerting travellers to China’s ASF outbreak.
China is home to half of the global pig population and is the largest consumer of pig meat, with thousands of backyard and large-scale farms operating in the northern, central and southern regions.