Hong Kong mandates culling of nearly 2,000 pigs amid second African swine fever outbreak

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24th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong authorities have initiated the culling of approximately 1,900 pigs, following confirmation of a second case of African swine fever (ASF) within a month.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced on Thursday that the culling would commence on November 25. This decision was made after the ASF virus was discovered at a local pig farm.

The farm, located in Lau Fau Shan in the rural Yuen Long area near the border with mainland China, had its pigs test positive for the ASF virus. Staff at the site conducted sampling from a total of 62 pigs.

Despite the alarming discovery, an AFCD spokesperson assured that the present case would not disrupt local slaughterhouse operations or the overall supply of live pigs. The statement further emphasised the department’s commitment to rigorously clean affected areas and maintain close surveillance of local pig farms.

Earlier in the month, an ASF outbreak necessitated the culling of approximately 5,600 pigs at a farm also in the Yuen Long area. It remains unclear whether the second case of ASF was detected at the same farm or a different one.

ASF is a highly infectious and lethal disease affecting pigs and wild boars. It does not pose a risk to human health but can decimate pig populations, impacting the livelihoods of farmers and the pork industry.