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Report on China origin of swine flu "groundless": agriculture ministry(04/29/09)

BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Overseas reports labeling China as the origin of the current swine flu outbreak were groundless, China's Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) said Wednesday.

The press reports alleged some dead pigs found in Fuqing City and Changle City in southeast China's Fujian Province might be the source of the swine flu outbreak in Mexico, said the ministry.

The dead pigs, which were illegally disposed of, died of swine dysentery and dropsy, both normal among young pigs, and investigations in pig farms around the area found no sign of an epidemic, the ministry said.

What the ministry said was confirmed by local officials and farmers in Fuqing.

"The bodies of all the 25 dead pigs have been deeply buried and disinfected with lime," said He Changgui, vice head of the Chengtou Township in Fuqing.

"With the drastic weather changes these days, the pigs are prone to diseases," said Chen Changwang, a local official with Shouxi Village of Chengtou.

"The pigs did not die all at the same time," he said. "Some died quite a few days ago."

No human cases of swine flu have been found in China, nor has the virus been found in the country's pigs, both the MOA and Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

China has not exported live pigs to Mexico or the United States, which means the country cannot be the origin of the deadly disease, the MOA said.

MOH spokesman Mao Qun'an also told Xinhua earlier that the reports were against truth and scientific common sense.

Neither ministries named the media organizations that made the reports.


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