China has culled 916,000 pigs as of January 14 due to African swine fever outbreaks: agriculture ministry

FILE PHOTO: A student feeds pigs at a farm next to a primary school in Xuanwei, Yunnan province, China December 22, 2018. Picture taken December 22, 2018. REUTERS/Darley Shen/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has culled 916,000 pigs as of Jan. 14 due to outbreaks of African swine fever since the first case was reported in early August last year, the country’s agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

“China has always followed the principles of ‘being timely, open and transparent’ when reporting the cases,” Guang Defu, spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.

China has reported about 100 outbreaks of the highly contagious disease in 24 provinces and regions since it was first confirmed in the northeast of the country.

The disease can be deadly to pigs but does not harm humans.

Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; editing by Richard Pullin

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