TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Chinese authorities are scrambling to crack down on rampant dead pig scams, in an industry that is already reeling from a massive outbreak of African swine fever (ASF).
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued a notice on Friday (July 12) pledging to clamp down on cases where gangs spread rumors about ASF outbreaks to exploit farmers.
The gangs reportedly dump dead pigs on farms and say they are affected by ASF, which has a mortality rate for pigs as high as 100 percent. The gangs then force the farmers to sell the hogs at prices way below the market price.
The agriculture ministry is warning the public to be vigilant and report such activities, offering rewards for doing so. It has also vowed to impose harsh punitive measures against the criminals, while continuing to enforce disease control measures.
China has reported 143 outbreaks of the deadly pig pandemic as of July 3, culling more than 116,000 hogs, said Central News Agency. The situation in China is still dire, according to an agriculture ministry official, despite claims by the Beijing government the crisis has started to abate.