Image Source: Wikipedia
Eric (Eni) Enescu
Could pigs go extinct in the next few years? A recent outbreak of an African flu virus strain could put many pigs at risk.
Recently, there was an outbreak of African swine fever, an ailment that is considered incurable. The disease, a hemorrhagic virus strand related to Ebola, is potent, with the chances for an infected pig surviving being very low.
Infected pigs don’t generally live longer than 10 days and if an ill pig is discovered, every other one in the farm needs to be killed to reduce spread.
The outbreak occurred in China around August of last year and was reported throughout the country, putting the pig population at risk.
In terms of statistics, the number of pigs worldwide is down to 375 million, a loss of 40 million. Estimates predict a further reduction of 30% by the end of the year, with Rabobank projecting a drop of 200 million pigs. Some predict that pork prices will increase by 70% by the end of the year.
Obviously, this will have a massive economic impact on our country, as we are the world’s largest consumer of pork. One option would be to import pork from other countries, but as tariffs internationally have increased (in particular from the USA), this may prove difficult to do.
China is now left in a bit of a stalemate. Its popular food is slowly disappearing and becoming ever more expensive, and it may soon be gone for good.
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol.49 Issue 07 on December 4th, 2019