More financial aid for pig farmers, as swine fever lingers

China plans to boost financial support for pig farmers as the spread of African swine fever continues to damage the country’s large pork industry, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.

Pig farmers who are required to slaughter infected swine will receive subsidies within three months, half the previous period of six months, according to a statement released on the ministry’s website.

More subsidies and benefits will also be issued to large-scale pig-breeding farms and counties to ease financial pressure and assist production, the statement said.

Insurance coverage for breeder female swine and pigs fattened for sale will be increased by about 50 percent.

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Authorities also plan to promote artificial insemination technology and subsidize farmers who purchase high-quality pig semen.

The statement was jointly released by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

African swine fever, which is fatal to pigs but not harmful to humans, was first detected in China in August last year. As of early July, 143 outbreaks have been recorded in the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs told Xinhua News Agency on Sunday that the disease has contributed to the rising prices of pigs and pork products since June.

However, with substitute meat, such as chicken, lamb and beef, and higher imports of pig products, the country’s overall supply of meat will remain stable this year.

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