Flood-hit Chinese county needs disinfectants to tackle dead livestock

More than a million animals were lost after heavy rains in the province of Henan, raising worries about disease spread

Reuters – China’s animal husbandry association urged companies July 27 to donate large volumes of disinfectants for a county in the central province of Henan, where widespread floods have killed thousands of livestock.

The rotting carcasses of dead animals easily produce pathogens, but material for disinfection is insufficient, the semi-official China Animal Agriculture Association said on its website after farms in Tangyin county were flooded.

The association also sought donations of other disease prevention materials — such as veterinary drugs, vaccines and protection equipment — on behalf of local government authorities.

Heavy rains in the second-last week of July sparked the province’s worst flash floods in centuries, killing at least 71 people. More than a million animals died and 1,678 large livestock farms were affected, official media said.

“Large quantities of disinfectants are needed,” said a manager with a pig producer that has farms in Henan.

The industry’s biggest concern was the potential for disease to spread, said the manager, who declined to be identified, as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Flooding has hit both small and corporate farms alike, he added.

The disaster came as China battles African swine fever (ASF), which decimated its pig herd after being first detected in 2018.

Heavy rain and floods, blamed for fresh outbreaks of the disease last year, threatened to frustrate the effort of the past two years to rebuild the herd.

In the move to avert disease, Tangyin authorities have culled more than 210,000 head of livestock, including 3,956 pigs, after floods killed 380,242 animals in the region, the husbandry association said in its website notice.

Tangyin produced 309,000 pigs by the end of last year, the local government said on its website, while Henan, with 43.11 million produced in 2020, ranks as the country’s third-largest producer.

Last week, the Agriculture Ministry advised local government officials on steps to prevent animal disease after flooding, including disposal of carcasses and disinfection.

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