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China toughens crackdown on illegal African swine fever vaccines

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-09-03 11:38
Staff sterilize pigs to prevent African swine fever at a pig farm in Jinhua, East China's Zhejiang province, on Aug 22, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

BEIJING -- China has stepped up its crackdown on the illegal production, selling and use of "test, home-made and smuggled" vaccines for African swine fever, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) Monday.

As of now, no country, including China, has approved a vaccine for African swine fever to go to market, so any African swine fever vaccines that appear on the market are illegal and will be disposed of, an official with the MARA said in an interview with Xinhua.

Manufacturers and sellers of the illegal veterinary vaccines will face maximum legal penalties and have their production and business licenses revoked, while workshops with no licenses will be destroyed and their production facilities and illegal gains will be confiscated.

In addition, pigs which test positive for any illegal vaccines should be culled.

The MARA has been supporting and encouraging legitimate scientific research institutions and enterprises to work on the prevention and control measures for African swine fever, but no institutes have been approved to conduct clinical trials yet.

Illegal vaccines have unpredictable biosafety risks because they haven't gone through systematic tests and reviews, and could even lead to infection in pigs and cause the disease to spread, it added.

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