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Toy pigs used in Hong Kong gov’t anti-swine flu exercise

What’s pink and fluffy? The toy pigs enlisted to help with a Hong Kong government’s training initiative designed to offset the spread of African swine flu.

An epidemic of Asfarviridae – commonly known as African swine fever – has swept through provinces in Mainland China. Hong Kong’s Food and Health Bureau are closely monitoring the situation.

pig stuff animal exercise

Photo: Facebook/Sophia Chan.

Reporting for duty on Tuesday was Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan, and fellow colleagues at the  Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department’s Ta Kwu Ling Operation Centre.

She reported the session in a Facebook post, describing how they were practicing methods the department might use to prevent the epidemic from reaching Hong Kong.

Also on call was a fleet of pink, fluffy toy pigs for the team to cull as a practice exercise.

Facebook users have responded to the images with a range of emotions.

“How can they be so cute?” one Facebook user said in a comment. “Can we adopt them?” said another.

While some users complained that it was a waste of money to practice with toy animals, one user said that it was better the department had used toy pigs as opposed to living ones.

pig stuff animal exercise

Photo: Facebook/Sophia Chan.

“Wouldn’t it be more controversial to use real pigs?” said netizen David Li. “The toy pigs can be re-used in future exercises.”

“Toy chickens have been used in exercises for avian flu for a long time. How is this a waste of public funds…?

【嚴防非洲豬瘟】內地多個省份爆發非洲豬瘟疫情,食衞局一直與內地有關部門緊密溝通,監察情況,嚴防非洲豬瘟傳入本港。我們已在入口、運輸及屠房等層面加強消毒清潔;本地農場亦已逐漸停用含動物源性的飼料。然而,萬一本地出現非洲豬瘟疫情,政府會果斷…

Posted by 陳肇始 Sophia Chan on Tuesday, 4 December 2018

In the Facebook post, Sophia Chan also said that the government has been improving the standard of hygiene at import locations, transportations and slaughterhouses. Local farms have also gradually stopped feeding animals food made from other animals, she said.

“However, if Hong Kong sees an African swine fever epidemic, the government will take decisive action to try to minimise its effect on the local pig industry,” she said.

“We will continue to closely monitor the latest development of the epidemic, in order to make fast and effective responses.”

Toy pigs used in Hong Kong gov't anti-swine flu exercise