The Chinese agriculture ministry is taking steps to counter concerns that the number of African Swine Fever cases in the country is being under reported.
The ministry made it illegal to delay or obstruct reports of new ASF outbreaks, to issue false test reports, to distribute falsified health certificates, or to illegally dispose of infected animals. Reuters says Chinese officials are also offering rewards to people who file reports on new cases.
Experts suspect that the 60 outbreaks reported in 18 Chinese provinces may not be an accurate number. China has already imposed transportation limits and other bio-security measures designed to get control of the infectious disease. To date, the infection has caused China to cull hundreds of thousands of pigs from herds across the country.
Officials in Beijing also announced a new case of ASF that killed 55 of 73 pigs on a single farm. China is home to 500 million pigs, more than the combined number of animals found in the rest of the world.