African Swine Fever has made its first appearance in Slovakia. The first confirmed infection showed up on a backyard farm in a village near the border with Hungary. The Director-General of the State Veterinary and Food Administration says it’s the very first case of ASF diagnosed in Slovakia. The disease turned up on a small farm with just four pigs located near the border of Hungary and Ukraine, two countries that have had ASF infections already confirmed. Hundreds of wild boars in Hungary have also been confirmed to have ASF infection this year. Slovakian authorities say all pigs within a three-kilometer radius of the infected farm will be culled.
They will also establish a three-kilometer protection zone and a ten-mile surveillance zone. Farm Journal’s agweb.com says only the Czech Republic has successfully kept ASF outbreaks under control and was declared free of ASF earlier this year. However, recent outbreaks in Bulgaria and Poland indicate big challenges ahead in keeping the disease from spreading.
The Chinese government is looking to battle back against the effects of African Swine Fever. The government has mandated a boost in domestic pork production to shore up supplies and stabilize prices that have been hit hard by the disease. China has lost 13 million tons of pork, which is equal to the entire yearly production level of the U.S. That loss is pushing Chinese officials to go forward with domestic actions, which will help 13 cities in the nation’s top pork-producing province produce 34 million pigs this year.
City governments will subsidize pig farms and require banks to make credit and favorable insurance policies available to pig farmers and pork processors. China will earmark a total of $111.6 million from the provincial budget for the effort. U.S. pork producers are hopeful that a new trade deal with China would get rid of the giant 62 percent tariff that the National Pork Producers Council estimates have caused its producers to miss out on $1 billion in sales.