Hong Kong butcher selling panties instead of pork amid swine fever-related shortages

Photos via Facebook/Tai Po Tai Po/寧竹銘.
Photos via Facebook/Tai Po Tai Po/寧竹銘.

A butcher’s stall in Hong Kong has been making ends meet by selling underwear instead of pork after the city’s authorities decided to cull thousands of pigs in order to prevent the spread of African swine fever.

A photograph of the stall on Tai Kwong Lane in Tai Po was posted to a Facebook group for Tai Po residents yesterday afternoon, and shows the stall flogging panties for HK$5 (US$0.60), bras for HK$10 (US$1.30), and t-shirts for HK$20 (US$2.50).

Photo via Facebook/Tai Po Tai Po/小龍子.
Photo via Facebook/Tai Po Tai Po/小龍子.

One of the women manning the stall told on.cc yesterday that since they began buying undergarments in bulk and reselling them, business wasn’t too shabby.

“I’m not quite sure how long we’re going to be doing this, but business has been ok,” she said.

She told the outlet that other butcher’s stalls have also had to diversify their business models amid the widespread pork shortage.

“They have to make a living and they need to pay rent — it’s just how it is,” she noted.

The photos come after the authorities announced that African swine fever had been detected in an animal at a slaughterhouse in Sheung Shui, which is close to the border with China and two MTR stops away from Tai Po.

The case was the first to be confirmed in Hong Kong, but the disease has swept across mainland China in recent months, leading to widespread culls.


In response to the case, the Food and Health Department announced that in order to halt the spread of ASF — which is not dangerous to humans, but fatal to pigs and wild boars — they would cull the 6,000 pigs in the same slaughterhouse.

The cull saw supermarket shelves quickly depleted of pork. It also prompted the city’s pig farmers to threaten to let slip the hogs of war upon the government’s headquarters if officials didn’t compel a slaughterhouse in Tsuen Wan to reopen after it stopped operating following the ASF case.

According to the South China Morning Post, the farmers complained that with the private slaughterhouse suspending operations, and the city-run abattoir closed for cleaning after the ASF case, some 1,000 pigs have been stranded on their farms with feed running low.

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