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China reports fourth African swine fever outbreak: ministry

[BEIJING] China, home to the world's largest pig herd, reported its fourth outbreak of deadly African swine fever on Thursday, with more than 400 pigs infected on three farms, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement.

The infection killed 340 hogs in the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, it said.

Authorities have already culled more than 20,000 animals in an attempt to halt the spread of the highly contagious disease, which was first reported in China three weeks ago.

Zhejiang is the fourth region to discover an infection, with other outbreaks detected in Liaoning, Henan and Jiangsu provinces.

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Local authorities in Wenzhou have banned the movement of live hogs, related products and animals that are easily infected both into and outside the affected area, the ministry said.

Wenzhou is 890 km (553 miles) away from Lianyungang, a city in its neighbouring province, where China confirmed its third outbreak of the disease at the weekend.

REUTERS