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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Pig epidemic’ Category

Cartoon: China’s Olym-Pigs

Posted by Author on October 9, 2007


by Qingxin Cartoon Workshop, published by the Epochtimes –

China's Olym-pigs

On the picture:

Olym-pigs is accepting physical examination, the nurse is preparing none-additive food for it. The ordinary pig, has to eat infected feedstuff. People eat infected pork (from the ordinary pig) everyday.

Pork of the Olym-pigs is just a privilege of foreign athletes.

Story:

While Chinese citizens suffering the spreading pig disease, jumping pork price and market-flooded infected pork, Chinese government is raising expensive, high quality, special guaranteed none-infected Olym-pigs, the “Olympic Pigs” , to accommodate foreigners and athletes for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

According to the report [1] from China’s state controlled largest news website Sina (www. sina.com.cn), Liu Yanyun, the board chairman of Beijing Qian Xi He Group, said the company “has built up about 10 secret hoggery bases across the country, to guaranteed the supply of pork to the upcoming Olympic games 5 times more than demand.”

Liu said the secret location of the 10 hoggery bases can not be disclosed, but all the locations are far away from urban areas that have no air, water and soil pollution.
The secret bases are video monitored 24 hours a day, the other ordinary pigs are not allowed to get in. Most important, food for Olym-pigs does not have additive inside.

Pigs are required to do 2 to 3 hours exercise everyday.

It’s now a hot topic among Chinese bloggers.

Some of them say, “I’d rather like to be a Olym-pigs than a Chinese citizen”.

Note:

[1]: Sino’s report (in Chinese):
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2007-08-22/020612425146s.shtml

Related:
China: Infected Pork Floods the Market, ‘Olym-pigs’ Raised for 2008 Games

Posted in all Hot Topic, Beijing Olympics, China, disaster, Economy, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, News, Photo, Pig epidemic, Politics, Pork, products, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Cartoon: China’s Olym-Pigs

Spreading Pig Disease in China Worries the World

Posted by Author on September 17, 2007


By Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post Foreign Service, Sunday, September 16, 2007-

FOSHAN, China — At first, it was just some of the piglets. The mother gave birth to 13, all of them stillborn. Within a few weeks, however, she and other adult pigs in neighboring stalls became feverish and died. By the end of the summer, all but a handful of the village’s 300 pigs had succumbed to the mysterious disease.

“It was quick, very quick. Before we knew something was wrong, they were all dead,” said Lo Jinyuan, a 55-year-old pig farmer in the village of Shandi.

Moving rapidly from one farm to the next, the virus has been devastating pig communities throughout China for more than a year, wiping out entire herds, driving pork prices up nearly 87 percent in a year and helping push the country’s inflation rate to its highest levels since 1996.

The Chinese government has admitted that the swine deaths amount to an epidemic but contends that the situation is under control.

China says it is moving swiftly to stop the infections by quarantining and slaughtering the affected pigs. It says its researchers have developed an effective vaccine in record time for the likely cause — blue ear pig disease, a reproductive and respiratory illness that is highly fatal in pigs but that so far does not seem to pose danger to humans. And it maintains that it has been “open and transparent” all along.

Some experts, both inside and outside China, are skeptical, citing the government’s handling of the avian flu outbreak in 2004 and SARS in 2002 and 2003. While China’s central government has made numerous improvements since then in how it deals with infectious disease control and informs the public, it has once again been slow to share scientific data and tissue samples with other countries.

As a result, there is worry that while China is lagging, the virus is quickly turning into a global problem. China does not export pork to the United States, but the virus has already been found in pigs in China’s southern neighbors, Vietnam and Burma.

“We are concerned that with international traffic this particular virus could enter other continents — Europe or Africa or the Americas,” said Juan Lubroth, head of infectious diseases for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, based in Rome. “We have no firsthand or independent evaluation of the virus or vaccine. It’s all been conducted by the Chinese in China.”

While China’s previous reluctance to share information may have been the legacy of years of secrecy, its reasons for withholding information this time may be about something else: business interests.

For China, one the largest exporters of pork and pork products in the world and the target of recent criticism for the safety of its food and other exports, “there are economic-commercial incentives to cover up,” said Yanzhong Huang, editor of the Journal of Global Health Governance and an assistant professor at Seton Hall University.

Vincent Martin, an animal health officer for the FAO in Beijing, said Chinese officials he met with last week said they were not opposed to sending samples to overseas laboratories but would only do so when “intellectual property issues” were resolved……. ( more details from Washington Post: Pig Disease in China Worries the World)

Posted in Asia, Business, China, disaster, Economy, Food, Guangdong, Health, Life, News, Pig epidemic, Plague, Politics, Pork, Report, SE China, Social, USA, World | Comments Off on Spreading Pig Disease in China Worries the World

Highly Infectious Pig Virus Spread to 75% Areas of China Causing International Concern

Posted by Author on August 16, 2007


By DAVID BARBOZA, New York Times, August 16, 2007-

CHENGDU, China, Aug. 9 — A highly infectious swine virus is sweeping China’s pig population, driving up pork prices and creating fears of a global pandemic among domesticated pigs.

Animal virus experts say Chinese authorities are playing down the gravity and spread of the disease.

So far, the mysterious virus — believed to cause an unusually deadly form of an infection known as blue-ear pig disease — has spread to 25 of this country’s 33 provinces and regions, prompting a pork shortage and the strongest inflation in China in a decade.

More than that, China’s past lack of transparency — particularly over what became the SARS epidemic — has created global concern.

“They haven’t really explained what this virus is,” says Federico A. Zuckermann, a professor of immunology at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. “This is like SARS. They haven’t sent samples to any international body. This is really irresponsible of China. This thing could get out and affect everyone.”

There are no clear indications that blue-ear disease — if that is what this disease is — poses a threat to human health.

Though the Chinese government acknowledges that the current virus has devastated pig stocks in coastal and southern areas, it has not admitted what experts say is clear: the virus is rapidly moving inland and westward, to areas such as this one in Sichuan Province, China’s largest pork-producing region.

“This disease is like a wind that swept in and passed from village to village,” said Ding Shurong, a 45-year-old farmer in a village near here who lost two-thirds of his pigs . “I’ve never seen anything like it. No family was left untouched.”

No one knows for sure how many of this country’s 500 million pigs have been infected. The government says officially that about 165,000 pigs have contracted the virus this year. But in a country that, on average, loses 25 million pigs a year to disease, few believe the figures. In part, the skepticism comes from the fact that pork prices have skyrocketed 85 percent in the last year — an increase that, absent other factors, suggests the losses from disease are more widespread than Beijing admits.

And there are other signs. Field experts are reporting widespread disease outbreaks. Fear among pig farmers that their livestock will contract the disease has led to panic selling. And the government and media here have issued alarming reports that farmers are selling diseased or infected pigs to illegal slaughterhouses, which could pose food safety problems.

International health experts are already calling this one of the worst disease outbreaks ever to hit Asia’s livestock industry, and they fear the fast-mutating pathogens could spread to neighboring countries, igniting a worldwide epidemic that could affect pork supplies everywhere.

A similar virus has already been detected in neighboring Vietnam and Myanmar, and health experts are trying to determine if it came from China.

Health experts say China has declined to send tissue samples to testing labs outside the country for independent verification by a lab affiliated with the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris.

The Chinese government says that it has reported the disease to international health bodies and insists that the disease is under control and that a vaccine has been developed and distributed.

But, some scientists say there is no truly effective vaccine against blue-ear pig disease (which is also known as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome); other experts say they are not even certain that the blue-ear virus is the one that is spreading.

Scientists who track blue-ear pig disease are puzzled because the disease is generally not so deadly.

“This virus generally makes them ill but on its own it doesn’t cause a lot of deaths,” said Steven McOrist, a professor of pig medicines at the University of Nottingham in England. “The evidence they put up so far is not conclusive.”

If it is blue-ear pig disease, which has infected most parts of the world, including the United States, it may be a new and more virulent strain.

“This is more severe than we’ve seen elsewhere,” said Derek Armstrong, a senior veterinary scientist at the Meat and Livestock Commission in Britain. “It may be a co-infection of pigs with other things.”

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is now pressing China to share its research and tissue samples……. ( more details from the New York Times)

Posted in Asia, Business, Chengdu, China, disaster, Food, Health, Life, News, Pig epidemic, Plague, Politics, Pork, Sichuan, Social, SW China, Trade, USA, World | Comments Off on Highly Infectious Pig Virus Spread to 75% Areas of China Causing International Concern

Pig Disease “Blue Ear” Spreads to 22 Provinces in China

Posted by Author on June 11, 2007


Pig disease “Blue Ear” is blamed by China for most of the pig deaths last year, and it’s spreading to 22 provinces and regions in the country (there are 32 provinces/districts in China), which killed up to one million pigs last year, and has caused the rising prices of pork.

Details can be found from VOA’s report on 11 June 2007 (Monday) : Hog Disease Spreads in China

Related:
–   China’s Latest Crisis: Millions of Pigs Killed by Virus, Pork Prices Doubled, May 30, 2007

Posted in animal, China, disaster, Economy, Food, News, Pig epidemic, Social | Comments Off on Pig Disease “Blue Ear” Spreads to 22 Provinces in China

China’s Latest Crisis: Millions of Pigs Killed by Virus, Pork Prices Doubled

Posted by Author on June 1, 2007


Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, May 30, 2007-

BEIJING: A mystery virus that is killing millions of pigs in southern China is responsible for soaring pork prices that have the senior leadership worried about inflation and social unrest.

The Premier, Wen Jiabao, took the unusual step of visiting supermarkets and pig farms in Shaanxi province at the weekend to show the central Government’s concern about the price of one of China’s staple foods and its most affordable source of protein.

At the weekend, shoppers lined up for more than a kilometre at a Guangzhou supermarket to buy pork on special for 15.8 yuan ($2.50) a kilogram.

Prices that have been as low as 9 yuan a kilogram have soared to 28 yuan. In Beijing, prices have doubled since March.

The Agriculture Ministry said the wholesale price of pork had soared by 71.3 per cent since April, pushed up by rising prices for pig feed (such as corn) and the epidemic of “blue ear” disease – officially called porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome – along with existing foot-and-mouth disease.

Statistics on pig deaths are difficult to obtain but an industry official told London’s Financial Times that he had heard up to 20 million of China’s 500 million pigs had been wiped out by blue ear disease.

The government in Guangdong has announced it will offer subsidies to the poor to help them cope with the rising prices and at least one province has already asked the central government to use the Central Meat Reserve to meet the shortfall, a move that the Commerce Ministry confirmed was being considered.

Imports of relatively cheap South American pork are restricted and pork from the US and European is expensive.

Mr Wen assured shoppers during his supermarket visit that the Government was doing all it could to ensure an affordable supply of pork. Economists said pork prices could push the annual inflation rate to above 4 per cent. Mary-Anne Toy

original report from Sydney Morning Herald

Posted in animal, China, Economy, Food, Health, Life, News, Pig epidemic, Pork, SE China, Social | Comments Off on China’s Latest Crisis: Millions of Pigs Killed by Virus, Pork Prices Doubled