By Jacky Wong WSJ Wed., April 10, 2019 The Year of the Pig—this year, according to Chinese zodiac—is not shaping up well for pigs in China, as the deadly African swine fever has swept across the country. Pork will become more expensive across the world, but a bet on the world’s largest producer still looks risky. China, which produced and consumed around half of the world’s pork last year, could face a shortage of the meat because of the disease, which is highly infectious but harmless to humans. Since the first reported outbreak in August, China has culled roughly one million pigs, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The actual figure is likely to be much higher because farmers lack incentives to report outbreaks. Many farmers have also chosen to slaughter their healthy pigs and process their meat without replacing them, in case they get infected. China’s pig population in February was 17% lower than the year before, according to the government—a decline almost equal to the total number of pigs in U.S. farms. The population of breeding sows has fallen even faster, down almost 20%. This means pork production in China may not be… Read full this story
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