Hong Kong to Cull 32 Pigs Amid African Swine Fever Outbreak in Yuen Long

Hong Kong authorities are set to euthanize 32 pigs following the detection of an African swine fever outbreak at a Yuen Long farm. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced on Tuesday that half of the 32 pigs sampled at the Lau Fau Shan site were found to be carrying the virus.

In response, the AFCD promptly suspended the transport of pigs from the affected farm as outlined in the African swine fever contingency plan. The department spokesperson stated, “The AFCD will arrange culling pigs on the farm concerned for the sake of prudence.”

Assuring the public, the spokesman emphasized that the virus does not infect humans, eliminating any associated food safety risks. The outbreak has not impacted local slaughterhouses or the overall supply of live pigs in Hong Kong.

All local pig farmers have been informed of the incident, and three farms within a three-kilometer radius of the infected site underwent inspections, with no abnormalities detected.

This incident follows a February case where approximately 100 pigs at a Sheung Shui farm were culled after 32 tested positive for African swine fever. The investigation was initiated after reports of pig carcasses found near a station for collecting animal remains.

The global pork industry has suffered due to the swine fever virus, with no effective vaccine identified thus far. Governments worldwide continue their efforts to control and prevent the disease through herd culling, transport restrictions, and enhanced farm hygiene. However, a promising new vaccine candidate developed by Chinese scientists has shown early signs of success, demonstrating the potential for infected pigs to recover after vaccination.