China takes biosecurity seriously and this time there are new 13-storey hotels that house pigs. More than 10,000 pigs are kept in a condominium-style complex, complete with restricted access, security cameras, in-house veterinary services and carefully prepared meals, according to Bloomberg.
These seemingly luxurious conditions represent an advanced biosecurity approach in which pigs – China’s main source of meat – are protected from viruses, including the devastating African swine fever that wiped out half of the country’s pigs in the two years before the outbreak of the Corona epidemic.
China is copying best practices from Europe and the United States to fill its biosecurity gap, says Robert Claxton, director of meat at UK-based consultancy Jira, which has been advising farmers and businesses for two decades. “In 20 years, I’ve done what it took Americans 100 years to do.”
The deadly African swine fever, which makes pigs sick like Ebola that kills humans, caused a dramatic outbreak in China in 2018.
Within a year, nearly half of the country’s herd of more than 400 million pigs – more than the combined annual output of the United States and Brazil – had been wiped out, driving up prices and unprecedented imports.