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Videos do not show pigs being destroyed because of the new virus from China

February 6, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Videos show pigs being killed by the Chinese government to control the new virus from China.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The videos circulating online are not related to the new virus outbreak from China. 

THE FACTS: Social media users are circulating videos tied to the 2018 African swine fever outbreak with captions saying the Chinese government is destroying pigs to get rid of the new coronavirus.

In one misrepresented video, pigs are being transported in trucks before the video cuts to another clip showing hundreds of pigs in a dirt hole. In another video, pigs are being burned alive.

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Both videos circulated on social media in December of 2018 around the African swine fever virus outbreak in China. 

Social media users circulated the two clips of the pigs with false captions in Spanish and English across platforms, including on Twitter where the videos received hundreds of views.

In 2018, thousands of pigs in China died or were culled to curb the spread of African swine fever, a contagious disease that only affects pigs and wild boar. China is one of the world’s largest producers of pork.

Chinese scientists have said there is increasing evidence linking the new coronavirus in China to bats. More than 28,000 people around the world are infected with the virus, which has killed 560 people. The overwhelming majority of cases are in China.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536