BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s agriculture ministry said on Tuesday that it would work to ensure the country’s pork supplies and to keep the hog market stable despite the spread of the African swine fever virus.

China, the world’s largest pork consumer, has reported almost 150 outbreaks of African swine fever disease since last August. Its pork imports rose sharply by 62.8% in June compared with year earlier.

Prevention and control measures against the disease have not been fully implemented, while the task of ensuring the stable production and supply of pigs in China remains arduous, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement on its website.

(Reporting by Min Zhang in Beijing and Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong; Editing by Gareth Jones)