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China could take years to tame ASF

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China’s recovery and attempt to reign in African swine fever may take years, according to the World Organization for Animal Health. China, the world’s biggest pork producer, could see up to 200 million pigs die or culled this year because of the virus, prompting shortages of pork locally and promising a global change to pork production and exports.

OIE Deputy Director General Matthew Stone says, “China is going to deal with this African swine fever for many years to come.” Those comments echoed a statement by Dr. Dave Pyburn of the National Pork Board last week. In a panel discussion to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Pyburn told attendees “it’s there, and it’s going to stay there,” adding “I’m not going to say that in five years that it would be over with.”

This week, the OIE launched a global initiative, to be coordinated with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, to try to keep the disease in check. The initiative seeks to control the disease and strengthen prevention and preparation efforts.