October 17, 2018 / 7:00 AM / 9 months ago

China minister urges more oversight of large pig farms amid disease epidemic

BEIJING, Oct 17 (Reuters) - China’s vice agriculture minister Yu Kangzhen said on Wednesday local governments should step up their oversight of large-scale pig farms and breeding farms in their efforts to control the spread of the highly contagious African swine fever.

Yu’s comments, published on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, came after a 20,000-head pig farm in northeast Liaoning province reported an outbreak of the disease earlier this week. It was the first large-scale farm to report an outbreak.

China has reported about 35 separate outbreaks of the deadly disease in nine provinces and municipalities since the first case in early August, and has reported the slaughter of almost 50,000 animals to deal with the spread. (Reporting by Dominique Patton; editing by Richard Pullin)

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