BEIJING (Reuters) – One of China’s top animal feed producers said on Tuesday an affiliated firm has culled nearly 20,000 pigs due to a suspected case of African swine fever, according to a report by the China Securities Journal.
A worker transports pig feed with a forklift at a feed mill under an animal feed and pig breeding firm Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group on the outskirts of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Hallie Gu
Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co Ltd reported the information to investors in an online interactive platform on Tuesday, the state-owned journal said. The company could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.
China has reported more than 30 cases of the deadly disease in nine provinces and municipalities since the first outbreak in early August and has slaughtered thousands of animals.
(Graphic: Swine fever in China: tmsnrt.rs/2PDt6Ud)
Dabeinong has expanded from feed production into pig farming in recent years, building large sow farms to supply the world’s top pork market.
According to the Securities Journal report, it owns a 40 percent stake in two pig farming companies in northeast Liaoning province, including one in Beizhen city, under the administration of Jinzhou city where the suspected case was found.
China’s agriculture ministry reported late on Monday a new outbreak of African swine fever on a farm with 19,938 pigs in Jinzhou city. It did not identify the farm, but said that 221 pigs had died from the disease, and that local authorities had carried out culling of all animals according to regulations.
It was the largest farm yet to report a case of the highly contagious disease, which analysts said underscored the increasing severity of the outbreak.
Dabeinong produced 640,000 pigs for slaughter in 2017, according to its financial report. It did not disclose numbers for farms that are not majority owned by the company.
In August, it warned that a big portion of its newly expanded pig farming capacity was idle, increasing production costs and pushing the company into its first quarterly loss in years.
Reporting by Dominique Patton and Hallie Gu; editing by Richard Pullin