China finds African swine fever in pigs on truck in Sichuan province

BEIJING, March 13 (Reuters) -

* China’s agriculture ministry said late on Tuesday a new African swine fever outbreak has been confirmed in Sichuan province, in the country’s southwest, after a truck carrying pigs was stopped on a highway.

* The truck, seized at a toll station at Linshui county in the east of Sichuan, was transporting 150 pigs from an outside location, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement on its website, without specifying where.

* Nine pigs in the truck were confirmed to have died from African swine fever, it added.

* China, home to the world’s largest hog herd, has now reported 112 outbreaks of the highly contagious disease in 28 provinces and regions since August, although the vast majority were found on farms, with one at a slaughterhouse.

* Hog prices in China hit their highest in 14 months this week as the spread of the disease reduces output. (Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Richard Pullin)