August 21, 2019 / 12:43 PM / a month ago

China to speed up subsidies for pigs culled due to African swine fever

Pigs are seen at a family farm in Fuyang, Anhui province, China July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s cabinet said on Wednesday it will speed up the distribution of subsidies for pigs culled because of African swine fever as part of a plan to stabilise the country’s pig production and pork supply.

China’s rules stipulate that farmers must receive 1,200 yuan ($170) for each pig culled to stop the spread of the deadly disease that has devastated the country’s pig industry.

However some farmers have said they are not receiving the subsidies while others claim they are not even allowed to report the disease.

There is no cure and no vaccine for African swine fever, which has hit every province in the world’s top pork producer after first being reported in the country a year ago.

The herd has shrunk by almost a third, pushing live hog prices to record highs.

Retail pork prices are also rising, raising concerns in Beijing at a time when the economy is slowing.

The cabinet also said it would take measures to support important pig-raising areas and farms to help production recover, according to a state TV report of the cabinet meeting.

That included immediately abolishing local rules preventing pig-farming that were not in line with the law, as well as allowing for piglets and chilled pork to be added to a list of fresh products that are exempt from highway toll fees.

($1 = 7.0644 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Dominique Patton; editing by David Evans and Kirsten Donovan

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