Hong Kong authorities ordered the culling of all 3,000 pigs in a herd after the African swine fever virus was discovered to be spreading for the first time in one of the city’s farms.
The disease, which is harmless to humans, is very rare in Hong Kong. The last outbreak in 2019 was due to pigs that were imported from the mainland and resulted in the culling of 10,000 pigs.
The new outbreak was discovered on a farm in the rural Yuen Long area, in the north near the mainland China border.
African swine fever is endemic on the mainland, where it devastated farms in 2018 and 2019, and has caused significant damage again this winter.
Hong Kong’s Agriculture and Fisheries Department, which is overseeing an investigation of the outbreak, said that the virus was limited to the one farm and that the owner would be compensated.
Hong Kong has about 43 pig farms, accounting for 15 percent of its live pig supplies, according to a Feb. 5 report by the US Department of Agriculture.
“Members of the public do not need to be concerned,” the Agriculture and Fisheries Department said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the overall supply of live pigs from other sources could make up the supply.
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