US News: Scientists say quarter of all pigs could die of swine fever - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News Scientists say quarter of all pigs could die of swine fever

14:15  31 october  2019
14:15  31 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Scientists say around a quarter of all the world's pigs could die of swine fever , a complex disease they say is spreading rapidly in the era of globalization. Dr Mark Schipp said a steep drop in the world's pig population could result in possible food shortages and high pork prices. He also warned of

About a quarter of the global pig population is expected to die as a result of the African swine fever (ASF) Schipp said veterinary scientists worldwide were trying to find a vaccine for the disease, but that it But the virus can also survive several months in processed meat, and several years in frozen

  Scientists say quarter of all pigs could die of swine fever © Getty

Around a quarter of the world's pigs are expected to die from African swine fever as authorities grapple with a complex disease spreading rapidly in the globalisation era, the World Organisation for Animal Health's president said Thursday.

A sharp reduction in the world's pig population would lead to possible food shortages and high pork prices, and it might also cause shortfalls in the many products made from pigs, such as the blood-thinner heparin that's used in people, said Dr. Mark Schipp, the organisation's president.

The disease's spread in the past year to countries including China, which has half the world's pigs, had inflamed a worldwide crisis, Schipp told reporters at a briefing in Sydney.

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African Swine Fever is killing millions upon millions of pigs all over the world, and this threatens to create a crippling global shortage of protein as we And considering the fact that about half of all the pigs in the entire world are in China, that is a very sobering thing to hear. Needless to say , this crisis

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"I don't think the species will be lost, but it's the biggest threat to the commercial raising of pigs we've ever seen," he said. "And it's the biggest threat to any commercial livestock of our generation."

Mark Schipp, the President of World Organization for Animal Health briefs media in Sydney, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, on the threat of African swine fever. Schipp says that the spread of the disease in the past year to countries including China, which has half the world's pig population, had inflamed a worldwide crisis. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) © Provided by The Associated Press Mark Schipp, the President of World Organization for Animal Health briefs media in Sydney, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, on the threat of African swine fever. Schipp says that the spread of the disease in the past year to countries including China, which has half the world's pig population, had inflamed a worldwide crisis. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

African swine fever, fatal to hogs but no threat to humans, has wiped out pig herds in many Asian countries. Chinese authorities have destroyed about 1.2 million pigs in an effort to contain the disease there since August 2018.

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Classical swine fever (CSF) or hog cholera (also sometimes called pig plague based on the German word Schweinepest) is a highly contagious disease of swine (Old World and New World pigs ). Swine fever causes fever , skin lesions, convulsions, and usually (particularly in young animals)

In August, cases of African swine fever began cropping up. Richt says another challenge is that the virus can also be carried by wild boars and ticks, which both live in China. Scientists believe pigs there may have eaten food scraps from a train that had come directly from Russia, and that among

The price of pork has nearly doubled from a year ago in China, which produces and consumes two-thirds of the world's pork. And China's efforts to buy pork abroad, as well as smaller outbreaks in other countries, are pushing up global prices.

"There are some shortages in some countries, and there's been some substitutions using other sources of protein, which is driving up the prices of other proteins," said Schipp.

Progress had been made toward a vaccine, but Schipp, who is also Australia's chief veterinary officer, said the work was challenging because the virus itself is large and has a complex structure. He said a big step forward was the announcement last week that scientists had unraveled the 3D structure of the virus.

An aerial photo shows workers wearing protective suits and driving pigs to kill at a farm where pigs were confirmed to have been infected with African swine fever in Paju, a city near the inter-Korean border, on September 17, 2019. - South Korea on September 17 reported its first cases of African swine fever, becoming the latest country hit by the disease that has killed pigs from China to North Korea, pushing up pork prices worldwide. © Getty An aerial photo shows workers wearing protective suits and driving pigs to kill at a farm where pigs were confirmed to have been infected with African swine fever in Paju, a city near the inter-Korean border, on September 17, 2019. - South Korea on September 17 reported its first cases of African swine fever, becoming the latest country hit by the disease that has killed pigs from China to North Korea, pushing up pork prices worldwide.

African swine fever is spread by contact among pigs, through contaminated fodder and by ticks. It originated in South Africa and appeared in Europe in in the 1960s. A recent reappearance in western Europe came from wild pigs transferred into Belgian forests for hunting purposes.

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Market analyst Rabobank said global pork supplies could fall by 8%. In Vietnam, the first swine fever case was detected in January this year in northern The economic and social impact is likely to be huge for Vietnam. Pork accounts for 75% of all meat consumed in the country and it is an industry

African Swine Fever is present in wild pigs in Europe. European pork producers have managed to protect their commercial herds from infection through careful precautions, preventing any potentially contaminated food or clothing from entering the facilities where pigs live. Almost half the pigs in

Its capacity to spread rapidly is shown by its spread from China in the past year, Schipp said. Mongolia, the Korean Peninsula, Southeast Asia and East Timor have had outbreaks as well.

He said the spread reflects the global movement of pork and of people but also the effect of tariffs and trade barriers, which sends those obtaining pork to seek out riskier sources. And Schipp said quality control was difficult for products such as skins for sausages, salamis and similar foods.

"Those casing products move through multiple countries," he said. "They're cleaned in one, graded in another, sorted in another, partially treated in another, and finally treated in a fourth of fifth country. They've very hard to trace, through so many countries."

An emerging issue in the crisis is a potential heparin shortage, Schipp said.

"Most of it is sourced from China, which has been badly hit. There are concerns that this will threaten the global supply of heparin," Schipp said.

He praised China's efforts to battle the disease and said the outbreaks would change the way pigs are raised.

"In China, previously they had a lot of backyard piggeries. They're seeing this as an opportunity to take a big step forward and move to large scale commercial piggeries," Schipp said. "The challenge will be to other countries without the infrastructure or capital reserves to scale up in those ways."

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