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A new form of African swine fever identified in Chinese pig farms is most likely caused by illicit vaccines, industry insiders say, a fresh blow to the world’s largest pork producer, still recovering from a devastating epidemic of the virus.

Two new strains of African swine fever have infected more than 1,000 sows on several farms owned by New Hope Liuhe , China’s fourth-largest producer, as well as pigs being fattened for the firm by contract farmers, said Yan Zhichun, the company’s chief science officer.

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