Hong Kong to slaughter 6,000 pigs after detection of swine fever

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Hong Kong will slaughter 6,000 pigs after a first case of African swine fever is detected in a slaughterhouse near the border with China, officials said Friday.

All pigs in the affected slaughterhouse will be slaughtered to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, "said Sophia Chan, head of the city's Food and Health Department, who said she ordered cleaning and disinfection measures.

The tainted pig had been imported from a farm in China's southern province of Guangdong, she said.

Pork is a staple in Chinese cuisine. Hong Kong imports 4,000 live pigs daily from China, compared to only 200 pigs entering the city market from local farms.

After the spread of swine fever in more than half of China's provinces last year, Hong Kong has imposed import bans from all Chinese farms where the virus has been detected.

Chinese authorities have reported that hundreds of thousands of pigs have been slaughtered in order to contain the spread of the virus, a measure accompanied by a ban on moving pigs from affected areas.

The virus is not dangerous for humans but is fatal for pigs and wild boars.

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