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Pig empire under infectious threat: risk of African swine fever introduction into the People's Republic of China
  1. Timothée Vergne, PhD1,
  2. Cao Chen-Fu, PhD2,
  3. Shuo Li, PhD3,4,
  4. Julien Cappelle, PhD5,
  5. John Edwards6,
  6. Vincent Martin, PhD3,
  7. Dirk Udo Pfeiffer1,7,
  8. Guo Fusheng, PhD3 and
  9. Francois Louis Roger, PhD5
  1. 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, UK
  2. 2 Shenzhen Entry Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Shenzhen, China
  3. 3 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Beijing, China
  4. 4 China Animal Disease Control Center, Beijing, China
  5. 5 Animal, Health, Territories, Risks and Ecosystems, CIRAD, Montpellier, France
  6. 6 School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
  7. 7 College of Veterinary Medicine & Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
  1. E-mail for correspondence; francois.roger{at}


Pig production and pork consumption are very important to the People's Republic of China for both economic and cultural reasons. The incursion and spread of a disease such as African swine fever (ASF), which emerged in Eastern Europe in 2007, could have devastating socioeconomic consequences for both the Chinese and the global pig industry. The Chinese government consequently attributes a very high priority to ASF and is actively seeking to improve its preparedness. This paper discusses different drivers and pathways of potential emergence of ASF in China in light of the country's specificities, including international movements of people, pigs and pig products, swill feeding practices and wild boar populations. It suggests that effective ASF risk management in China will require a comprehensive and integrated approach linking science and policy and will need to involve all relevant stakeholders to develop realistic policies.

  • African swine fever
  • China
  • introduction
  • movements
  • swill
  • spread
  • pigs
  • wild boar
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  • Funding The research leading to these results received funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 613 804 (LinkTADs).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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