World Perspectives
livestock

BSE versus ASF

Reports out of China indicate that the ASF situation may be stabilizing. Stocks of breeding sows rose 0.6 percent last month, the first increase in 19 months. The overall herd fell 0.6 percent, the smallest month to month decline in a year. Herd sizes on large farms actually increased. Sino-skeptics are unsure whether this news is propaganda or evidence of the beginning of a recovery. In truth, the threat of ASF has not declined and may actually increase with herd size and increased distribution unless appropriate hygiene protocols are strictly executed.  Finding an analog for the China ASF situation is difficult. During the 1980’s, the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was considered devastating in Europe. Yet,...

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