Beijing: China is set to ban imports of pigs, wild boar and related products from India in an effort to prevent African swine fever (ASF) and ensure the safety of China’s animal husbandry, the official media here said, citing a joint notice issued by the General Administration of Customs of China and the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs.Also Read - India's Covid-19 Vaccination Drive Completes One Year; Over 156 crore Jabs Administered So Far

The ban comes after tensions between the two countries flared up in Galwan Valley region due to India’s “recent construction of defense facilities on the border” to Chinese territory, the state-run Global Times reported on Thursday. Also Read - Hong Kong Airport Bans Transit Travellers From 153 Countries, Including India Amid Rising COVID Cases

India has rejected Beijing’s allegation and said that it was the Chinese troops that was hindering normal patrolling by Indian troops along the Line of Actual Control. Also Read - India vs Pakistan Twitter War Turns Ugly Over Controversial Dean Elgar DRS Call During 3rd Test At Cape Town

India reported its first case of ASF in both domestic pigs and wild boar in Assam earlier this month, according to the report.

ASF prevention and control in China has achieved initial results. Since the beginning of this year, the numbers of reported infections, pigs requiring treatment and dead pigs have also shown downward trends, according to the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs.

Hog production recovery has gained momentum and the downward trend for pork prices is clear, Ma Wenfeng, a senior analyst at the Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultancy, told the paper. “The pork supply is expected to recover by next year,” he said.

The disease first broke out in China in August 2018, when the first case was confirmed in northeast China’s Liaoning province, the report said.

That pushed the average pork price up to 51.77 yuan (USD 7.10) per kilogram in 2019. Pork is the staple diet of majority of Chinese population.

According to data, China’s pork imports in the first two months of this year surged 158 per cent from a year earlier to 560,000 tonnes.