North Korea is now on the list of Asian countries infected by African Swine Fever. The country’s ministry of agriculture confirmed the first outbreak took place on May 23. The World Organization for Animal Health says the outbreak resulted in 77 pigs dying from the disease, while another 22 pigs were culled from the herd.
China and southeast Asia are already expected to be facing a massive shortfall in animal protein supplies over the rest of this year, into 2020, and possibly for years to come yet. China accounts for half the world’s pork production and consumption all by itself. The Chinese breeding herd is down 22 percent from last year and the overall hog herd numbers are down 21 percent. However, estimates from industry experts say those numbers are likely higher than what China has been reporting.
Feed demand is also expected to drop significantly and could be down long term as China tries to become more feed-efficient while it rebuilds its domestic herd numbers. Vietnam says it’s lost 1.7 million pigs to its own ASF outbreak, culling a half-million pigs in the last two weeks alone.
The World Organization for Animal Health recently announced it launched a global initiative with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization designed to control the disease and boost prevention efforts around the world.