Since the outbreak of a new strain of human infecting Corona Virus (also known as Wuhan Virus) in China, more than 300 people have died. This virus has infected thousands across the globe and most of the infected are in China. WHO has declared the outbreak of Wuhan Virus a global medical emergency and many countries have started taking measures to prevent the epidemic from spreading to their respective countries. Corona Virus has been a subject of discussion on social media platforms. The social media platforms inundated with a variety of posts on Corona Virus contain news updates, preventions and some even suggesting home remedies for treatment of Corona Virus. We came across a video shared widely on various social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook. The video shows thousands of pigs and piglets transported in trucks and then buried in mass graves. The caption accompanying the video alleges that China is burying these pigs to curb the spread of Corona Virus. However, when we conducted a research about the incident shown in the video, we found that this particular incidence is in no way related to the recent Corona Virus outbreak. Let us check the content of the post and the actual reason for mass burial of these pigs.
Context and Narratives
The video shared on Whatsapp is given below. The text accompanying the video in Malayalam is as such, “അള്ളാഹു പറഞ്ഞപ്പോൾ പന്നികളെ നശിപ്പിക്കാൻ തയ്യാറായില്ല, ഇപ്പോൾ കൊറോണ വന്നപ്പോൾ ദേ പന്നികളെ കുഴിച്ചിടുന്നു. ചൈനയിൽ മുസ്ലീങ്ങളെ നിരോധിച്ചതിനു ഉള്ള ശിക്ഷ”
The translation of the Malayalam text is as follows: “When Allah ordered to eliminate pigs, you weren’t ready. Now because of Corona Virus, China is burying the pigs. This is a punishment to China for inflicting atrocities on Muslims.”
The same message was used as a caption to share the above video on Facebook as well. Following is a post carrying the same text as caption along with the video.
Thus, this video shared with a context of novel Corona Virus misleads people into believing that the culling of pigs is for curbing the rapidly spreading virus in China. Let’s find out the actual reason behind this incidence.
Fact Check Methodology
We did a simple Google search with the following keywords, “pigs buried alive in China” and found a video on YouTube, posted long back in March 2019. The video posted by a YouTube channel called DK-The Seeker with title ‘HORRIBLE ! Thousands of pigs are buried alive in China.’ given below
The description given by the uploader is as such, “There is an out-break of African Swine Fever in China and the thousands of pigs are being buried to control the disease. Insane indeed! It is all happening because you like your bacon in the breakfast.” From the description and date of publishing the video, it is evident that this particular incident is completely unrelated with the recent outbreak of Wuhan Virus in China.
The publisher also states the outbreak of African Swine Fever in China, the cause of this mass burial. In order to find out more about African Swine Fever Outbreak in China, we searched Google and found articles about the African Swine Fever outbreak. Since 2018, China and many countries across the globe faced an outbreak of African Swine Fever. The Virus that causes African Swine Fever doesn’t infect human beings but it is fatal to domestic pigs.
In 2018, more than 3,60,000 cases of African Swine Fever were reported across the globe. In a bid to control the widespread epidemic, many South Asian countries like China, Vietnam, South Korea, etc. began culling pigs infected with the virus. In China alone, millions of pigs were buried alive to contain the disease. The video is being shared on social media with a false context that Corona Virus is the reason for the mass burial of thousands of pigs. To read more about the African Swine Fever Outbreak, check out the links given below.
As per WHO, the animal source of transmission of the novel Corona Virus is not yet found. However, WHO does cautions against consumption of raw or uncooked meat. The Q&A posted on WHO website answers can humans become infected with the 2019-nCOV from an animal source as follows:
The video showing the mass burial of pigs in China is unrelated with the recent Wuhan virus outbreak. The video is a year old and shows the mass burial of pigs after the outbreak of the African swine fever virus. The African Swine Fever Virus does not infect human beings however it is fatal to pigs and has infected millions of domesticated pigs across the world.in order to control the spread of the disease, China ordered the burying of these pigs.
Important Note: As per WHO, animal source of Novel Corona Virus has not yet been found.
Title:Video of China Burying Pigs is Old and Not Related to Corona Virus.Fact Check By: Harish Nair