Pig Supply Farms Possibly Hit By African Swine Fever

5th June 2019 – Since the outbreak of African swine fever in mainland China, Hong Kong has been suffering from a shortage of live pigs.

Chan Kin-yip, vice president of the Federation of Hong Kong Agriculture Association (FHKAA), and Lam Wing-yuen, president of the Hong Kong Livestock Industry Association (HKLIA), said unconfirmed reports indicate that no less than 30 percent of the hog farms in the mainland have been hit by the fever outbreak.

However, there is no official information from Hong Kong and mainland authorities yet.  According to Chan, the mainland government no longer offers compensation to affected pig farmers, forcing some of them to continue selling their problematic produce to earn a living, thereby causing trouble for Hong Kong.

Pig farm in Hong Kong

Legislator Steven Ho Chun-yin, representing the functional constituency for agriculture and fisheries, said live pigs from the mainland typically weighed about 100 kilograms, but some of the recently imported stocks weighed only 60 kg.

He is concerned that pig farmers could be disposing of their stocks earlier than usual because they knew the animals were sick.  Ho urged mainland authorities to improve transparency in the release of information regarding the exported hogs.

Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan accused mainland authorities responsible for pig farm inspections of keeping Hong Kong importers in the dark.

As the Veterinary Public Health Section of the Center for Food Safety carries out regular inspections of mainland farms, the government should be able to give a better account of the situation, Wong said.