Soft ‘n’ cuddly slaughter: Hong Kong preps for African swine fever with life-sized (and pricey) toy pigs

Photo of the exercise posted on FB by Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan

It was a soft and fluffy slaughter. Netizens loved it.

It’s not often government training drills go viral, but this exercise by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department about how to destroy pigs in the event of an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak is getting some internet love, reports Apple Daily.

That’s because instead of real sick pigs, it was life-sized soft toy stand-ins taken to their unfortunate ends at a government operations centre in Ta Kwu Ling on Tuesday. 

Well, obviously not really.

As inanimate objects, they will (not) live another day.

Still, people were moved, and demanded to adopt the squishy swine toys when their jobs as training props finish, reported HK01.

“Can you give me one after you finish killing them?” commented one netizen.

Pictures of the drill (below) were posted on Facebook by Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan, who inspected the facility on Tuesday.

“If there are ASF case in HK, we will take action as soon as possible and decrease its impact to the lowest,” she posted.

Via FB.

According to HK01, the ACFD bought 28 of the large stuffed toys pigs for the exercise and two little ones.

At HK$700 (US$91) a pop for the big ones, the fake pig purchase wasn’t exactly cheap, costing some HK$19,760 (US$2,500) all in, according to the outlet.

Some netizens pointed out that it wasn’t exactly savvy shopping, with the same toys available on e-retailer Taobao for 248 yuan (US$37.2).

They also questioned whether it was helpful to use stuffed pigs, given the obvious difference in weight.

Price and practically aside, the practice is certainly important.

The city’s health authorities have been extra vigilant since August when an outbreak of ASF hit the mainland.

Since then, China has reported 70 cases of the disease which does not spread to humans, Reuters reported.

Back to the topic of toy pig adoption, well we’ve got some bad news.

The AFCD said they were planning to reuse the props, which will be kept in a warehouse.

But you can still go out and get your own, not to mention at a cheaper price.

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