China moves to ensure animal product supply amid epidemic control
BEIJING, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- China is stepping up efforts to ensure orderly production and distribution of meat, dairy products and eggs amid its fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.
While containing the outbreak of the epidemic, local authorities should encourage feed plants, slaughterhouses and animal product processors to resume production as soon as possible to increase supply, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a circular issued Tuesday.
The circular came as live animal transport, feed supply and the operation of slaughterhouses were affected in the wake of the epidemic, taking a toll on the country's husbandry industry.
Local authorities, without the authorization of county-level or higher-level governments, must not resort to measures such as destroying roads or building roadblocks that hamper the orderly production and transportation of husbandry products, according to the circular.
The ministry ordered local authorities not to hold up vehicles that transport animal feeds, live animals and husbandry products. It banned slaughterhouse closures and urged local authorities to intensify quarantines to ensure market supply and food safety.
China has been racing to curb the spread of the virus and ensure supplies of essential products while moving fast to help vulnerable sectors and impacted firms pull through.
By the end of Monday, the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on the Chinese mainland had reached 20,438, and a total of 425 people had died of the disease.