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China arrests producers of fake vaccine
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Chinese police have arrested the producers of fake vaccines that caused an outbreak of the blue-ear pig disease in central Hubei Province, said a spokesperson with the Ministry of Agriculture on Sunday.

A stock farm in Jiangling county of Hubei purchased a batch of vaccine for the blue-ear pig disease in June through an illegal channel from Beijing, which resulted in an outbreak of the deadly pig epidemic, causing nearly one million yuan (US$133,690) of loss, the spokesperson said.

Investigation showed that the vaccines were fake products without production licence and the company did not exist.

Beijing police arrested key suspect Zha Hongbo in September, and then smashed three workshops that made the fake vaccine, seizing a large amount of products, equipment and raw materials, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the suspects will face criminal charges in Jiangling, without revealing how many have been arrested.

By Aug. 22, the blue-ear pig disease, also known as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, had infected 257,000 pigs in 26 Chinese provinces, of which 68,000 died and 175,000 were culled, according to the ministry.

(Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2007)

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