China Govt Killing Pigs Over Fear of Coronavirus? No, Video is Old

CLAIM

A video of pigs being dumped and burned in a pit has been shared with the claim that the Chinese government is “destroying” pigs to control some sickness which could be coronavirus.

The caption with the video reads: “Pigs been destroyed by Chinese government to control the sickness may be Corona or any other sickness”.

Many people shared the video on Facebook with the same claim. The Quint has chosen not to include the video in this article because of the graphic nature of its content.

In the video, a large number of pigs can be seen in a pit in which a flaming object is pushed. The pigs can then be seen writhing as they are burnt alive and their screams fill the air. As the fire goes out, a large amount of loose earth is then laid over them by the bulldozer.

The video is being shared in the context of the coronavirus outbreak in China and elsewhere. As not much is known about the source of the disease, there has been much debate over if it could have originated from an animal, but there is no clarity as yet.

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TRUE OR FALSE?

The claim with which the video is being shared is false and the burning of these pigs has nothing to do with coronavirus. While the video is from China, it is also old and could be traced back to December 2018.

WHAT’S THE TRUTH?

On carrying out a key word search on Google with words like “pigs being killed in china”, The Quint came across an article by a website called Kinder World which carried the same video and explained the context as well.

The article by Kinder World which spoke about the video.

According to the article, the burning of these pigs had taken place in China in December 2018, because they carried the African swine fever virus, which is why the farm in question burned them alive before burying them. The article further said that burning and burying pigs alive is standard practice for killing pigs which are feared to be infected.

The website of Kinder World says that it is a non-profit initiative that encourages compassion for animals by distributing educational videos online.

The Quint also carried out a search on YouTube with keywords like “chinese pigs burning” and found the video of the pigs on the video platform.

The video, which was uploaded by a user called ‘Lightning TV’, was captioned, “After the pigs got the plague, the Chinese people are burning them all” and has existed since 21 January 2019.

Therefore, it becomes evident that the video of the pigs being burnt was in existence long before the outbreak of coronavirus and can thus, not have any connection with the virus.

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Further, on carrying out a reverse search on frames of the video, The Quint came across an article dated 6 September, by a Russian news outlet called Ach 24, which said that this video had gone viral in Russia’s Amur region with claims that pigs were being killed in this way in the region due to the fear of African swine fever.

According to the article however, the video was actually shot in one of the villages of China and began circulating on the internet in January 2019.

Therefore, it is clear that the video is old and shows culling of pigs in China over fears of a different disease in 2018 and has no connection with the current outbreak of coronavirus.

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