The latest data from the OIE shows that in the first two months of this year alone, a total of 1,140 cases of African swine fever have been detected in Hungary. Although the swine fever virus is infected with wild boar, the continuous outbreak of swine fever since 2018 has once again pushed the rare Mangalica pig in this country into the endangered situation.
Mangalica pig, native to Hungary, looks like a sheep, and is the only pig with long hair in the world. In the last century, the Mangalica pig has been on the verge of extinction. However, thanks to the protection of the Hungarian government, their number has increased from about 150 in 1994 to more than 7,000 in recent years. However, since the outbreak of African swine fever in Hungary in 2018, the number of Mangalica pigs has decreased again.
Picture Peter Toth, Chairman of the National Association of Pig Breeders in Mangalica, Hungary:When I heard that African swine fever had appeared in Hungary, my first reaction was panic, because the species we once saved may be Extinct again.
Hungarian law stipulates that once a wild boar is found to have died of African swine fever, all pigs within 3 kilometers of its carcass must be culled to prevent the spread of the swine fever virus.
This regulation is very unfavorable for Mangalitsa pigs, because these pigs are generally in semi-free-range conditions, and they are more likely to encounter wild boars carrying the swine fever virus.
So far, about 1,200 Mangalica pigs have been culled, accounting for more than 10%of the total.
In addition, African swine fever has damaged the economic value of Mangalitsa pigs, and fewer people are willing to raise Mangalitsa pigs, which has deepened the extinction crisis of Mangalitsa pigs.
Zoltan Kwell, owner of a pig farm in Mangalica, Hungary:African swine fever has hit our farm a lot, and we have lost a lot of markets.
Previously, the price of pork from Mangalica was more than four times that of ordinary pork. However, after the outbreak of African Swine Fever, the export of Mangalica pig and pork was restricted, and the price dropped sharply. As a result, most farmers lost their main source of income.
At the same time, due to strict measures to prevent swine fever, ordinary people cannot enter the farm as a tourist to visit this rare long-haired pig, and farmers have lost another part of their economic source.
The sluggish Mangalica pig market, coupled with the increasing cost of epidemic prevention, has overwhelmed many Mangalica pig farmers. The number of pig farms in Mangalica, Hungary has been reduced from 250 to about 180 at present.