Aporkalypse: no one will be spared from China’s African pig fever

World

Aporkalypse: no one will be spared from China’s African pig fever

It may be the biggest pandemic yet, and its impact will rip into the wider food market with disastrous results

Tom Stevenson

If you haven’t yet heard about African swine fever, you soon will if an apocalyptic forecast from a global animal disease watchdog is proved correct.

The World Organisation for Animal Health has warned (https://www.oie.int/en/animal-health-in-the-world/information-on-aquatic-and-terrestrial-animal-diseases/african-swine-fever/reports-on-asf/) that one in four of the world’s pigs may die as a result of the latest outbreak of this deadly disease. It’s possibly the biggest pandemic yet seen but it’s only just hitting the headlines because, unlike with bird flu, for example, there’s no risk to humans.

The risk to pigs, however, is terminal. The mortality rate for infected animals is 100% and there’s no vaccine. Pigs die within a few days of being infected...

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