Can it be contained?
AS CHINA’S agriculture authorities scramble to contain the spread of a pig-killing virus, experts worry that it could spread elsewhere in Asia. But the consequences of the disease at home are bad enough. Pork is China’s favourite meat. Pig farming is big business. The collapse of its market would hamper economic growth. Badly handled, the outbreak could dent the government’s credibility.
The disease was first reported on August 3rd, when it was noted that 47 out of 383 pigs on a small farm in Liaoning, a province in the far north-east, had died. The virus has spread to five other provinces: Anhui, Henan, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. The authorities have stepped up inspections, shut some live markets, stopped the transport of pigs from the affected areas and culled nearly 40,000 swine. On September 5th the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation…
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