China encourages restocking of pig herds

Beijing – China will encourage the restocking of hog herds, and strengthen the production of poultry, beef and mutton, to increase meat supplies, the cabinet said on Wednesday.

The move follows outbreaks of incurable African swine fever that has ravaged China’s pig herd, the world’s largest, raising worries of shortages of the country’s favorite meat.

China has reported more than 120 outbreaks of the disease in all its mainland provinces and regions, as well as Hainan island and Hong Kong, since it was first detected in the country in early August.

The disease may reduce pork output by 30 percent this year, according to Rabobank.

China’s breeding herd fell 22 percent in April from a year ago, the largest drop ever.

Beijing urged provincial authorities earlier this week to offer financial support to farms to help stabilize pork production. (Reuters)