Bloomberg News Visitors aren’t welcome at Zhao Baojiang’s pigsty. Those granted access to his fortresslike farm outside Beijing must park a half-mile away, change into shoes he provides and wear disposable overalls to prevent introducing African swine fever virus. Zhao’s fastidiousness about infection control, combined with a towering brick wall protecting his property, probably helped save his 500-hog herd from the deadly contagion that’s ravaged pig farms across China since August. Empty barns around his village of Xi Fengwu, about 37 miles south of the national capital, indicate few of Zhao’s neighbors were as fortunate. The infectious disease has killed tens of thousands of pigs in China, which raises about half the world’s hogs. Worse still, stopping its spread has resulted in the culling of millions more, including breeding sows and piglets. Latest government predictions point to a loss of swine this year equivalent to the European Union’s annual supply. That poses a threat to not only the millions of Chinese whose livelihoods depend on pigs, but also to food inflation in a country with the highest per-capita pork consumption after Vietnam and the EU. Wholesale pork prices have climbed more than 9 percent since late July. Domestic pork supply… Read full this story
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