ina is struggling to contain a disease spreading fast through the world's largest herd of pigs. African swine fever's shown up in six provinces, and there's been 14 outbreaks in just over a month. It's not harmful to humans, but for pigs the mortality rate can be up to 100%.
There's no vaccinne and no cure. And the UN says around 40,000 animals have been culled so far, in an effort to stop the spread. And as Reuter's Dominique Patton reports, it's got the whole world watching.>> I think the pig industry around the world is very concerned about this disease, and the spread of the disease in China.
It's likely to spread easily to other parts of Asia, particularly Southeast Asian countries that are on the border with China. But I know that even the US Is watching very closely, because this disease can actually be brought into a new country via food products. So you just have to bring a piece of infected meat from China to the US, and you potentially have a risk there.
So everybody is watching this.>> Standards in China's livestock industry have been improving. But that's mostly for bigger, industrial scale farms. And across China, small farms make up nearly half the industry, and they don't have the same modern hygiene procedures. Many small farmers who spoke to Reuters said they simply hadn't heard of the disease.
Or they thought that stories about it were quote fake news, and getting the word out to the little guys is one of the biggest challenges for the government.>> There are very small farmers out there who might not have any knowledge about this disease and know how to control it.
And then you have a huge trade in live pigs around the country. You have people trucking pigs from the North down to the South, you have people moving meat around the country. It's a huge challenge for the government.>> In an effort to stop the spread, the government's banned transport of pigs from and through affected areas.
But the flu is highly contagious, and can even survive in meat for months. The transport ban has already caused a price spike in some parts of the country. The first outbreak of African swine fever was detected in China on August 3rd.