March 27, 2019

African Swine Fever Conference co-hosted by Milling and Grain in Beijing, China

by Roger Gilbert, Publisher Milling and Grain  Magazine

China's national pig herd is nearing crisis point following an outbreak of African Swine Fever. Unlike normal Swine Fever, the African variety is deadly and already China's pig numbers were down over 16 percent in February 2019 compared to the same month in 2018. Sow numbers falling at just under 20 percent based on a survey of 28 percent of China's 1406 counties. This year from January to February, overall pig numbers are declining at roughly five percent per month. There are more than 110 reported outbreaks of the deadly ASF in some 30 provinces, reports the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and the disease is spreading.

Milling and Grain were called upon to co-host a one-day conference to address the issue of ASF in China, from the perspective of the feed manufacturer supplying feed to both infected, at-risk and clean farms. Milling and Grain were invited by turn-key and equipment manufacturer FAMSUN to jointly host a meeting of some 200 large feed millers and pig producers which took place today 27th March in Beijing China. Over 160 attendees were able to learn more about the disease, how it spreads and what can be done to either maintain or protect farms from contracting the disease.
Chinese large pig producers attend one-day AFRICAN Swine Fever Conference in Beijing organised jointly by FAMSUN and Milling and Grain with Chinese Feed Assocaition. Over 160 attended with keynote speakers from the UK and USA.
Image credit: Milling and Grain

The one-day conference also looked at what must be done to respond to the infection and how to go about rebuilding a farming operation following disease eradication. There were a range of local and international speakers on the programme with one specialist presenting from Spain and three specialists presenting from the UK.

'The UK is in a strong position to assist as it has faced several disease challenges over recent decades and has introduced strong bio-security on farms that protects both animals and farms by encouraging farmers to work together by creating an early-warning internet-based programme that can be used should a challenge occur and offer a robust and prescribed methodology for handing those threats,' says Milling and Grain publisher Roger Gilbert.

'We have provided three specialists from the UK with good knowledge of bio-security when it comes to disease prevention and identification in pig herds. And as our magazine is also published in Chinese we will be able to follow-up the advice and information given with further details for feed manufacturers to consider and adopt as we move forward.

'Working together is essential for the Chinese pig industry to combat and bring this devastating disease under control and feed manufacturers are in a good position to co-ordinate such an approach and work closely with pig farmers.

 'This won't be an easy or short-term fix but an approach that addresses an ongoing issue that both feed manufactures and their pig-rearing clients must adopt and this is the first step in that process.'

For information on speakers read the full article on the Milling and Grain website, HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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