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“Unrelenting” African Swine Fever Pandemic Set To Cause Meat Shortages

by | May 28, 2020

Meat shortages are expected this year as a result of the “unrelenting” pandemic of African Swine Fever (ASF).

The highly contagious disease — for which there is no vaccine — has a fatality rate near 100 percent.

Official data shows that a quarter of the world’s domestic pigs were killed as a result of the virus in 2019.

Scientists are now warning that the 2020 death toll from ASF is likely to be much higher than last year, as many countries focus their attention on addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

“Unrelenting Spread Of The Disease”

“The continuing new ASF outbreaks…confirm the ever-larger number of affected animals and the unrelenting spread of the disease” said Andriy Rozstalnyy, an officer from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

As well as being prevalent among farmed pigs, wild boar can also catch, spread, and die from ASF.

african swine fever pig
Pigs infected with African Swine Fever are killed (Katya_Bogomolova/Shutterstock.com)

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African Swine Fever

Experts are now predicting that record-numbers of pigs will have to be culled — or killed — to help curb ASF outbreaks .

“The ASF virus is a much ‘stronger’ virus [than COVID-19], in that it can survive in the environment or processed meat for weeks and months” said Dirk Pfeiffer, professor of veterinary sciences at City University in Hong Kong.

“The benefit that the ASF epidemic has had for the financial performance of the mega pig producers in China adds another interesting dimension to the story” added Pfeiffer.

“They have actually learned to ‘live’ with the disease in the country, and benefit enormously from the high pork price.”

Do you think enough is being done to address the African Swine Fever problem? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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