Vietnam cracks down on devastating African swine fever

By Quynh Chi - Mar 05, 2019 | 09:17 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERA number of countries have intensified scrutiny over pork imports from Vietnam.

Vietnam cracks down on devastating African swine fever
More than 4,200 pigs have been culled.

African swine fever continues to escalate in northern Vietnam, causing devastating consequences on the husbandry in seven provinces with more than 4,200 infected pigs weighing 297 tonnes having been culled and buried.

According to Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the African swine fever was first detected in Vietnam in early February. As of March 3, the disease has been reported in 202 household farms in seven cities and provinces including Hung Yen, Thai Binh, Haiphong, Thanh Hoa, Hanoi, Ha Nam and Hai Duong. 

The ministry attributes the fast spreading of the virus to transportation, poor hygiene in farms, and the inadequate treatment of redundant pig feed. In addition, concerning authorities have not actively monitored and promptly grasped the epidemic situation.

Meanwhile, the compensation procedures for farmers who destroy infected pigs are too complicated, forcing them to try to sell their pigs off, even the ones suspected of virus infection.

MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong says that the disease cannot be transmitted to humans, but it is highly contagious among pigs and there is no vaccine to prevent. 

He warns that if the disease is not curbed, it will greatly affect the livestock industry. 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is asking localities to timely support people in the cull of pigs, taking into account the MARD's proposal of financially assisting farmers with cash equivalent to 80 per cent of the culled pigs’ value.

Phuc highlighted that a fight against the African swine fever should be seen as fighting enemies.

The prime minister also agreed to increase levels of financial assistance to farmers who have pigs culled, and simplify procedures they have to complete to receive the compensation.

He requested concerning agencies to urgently raise people's awareness in stopping the widespread of the epidemic.

Provincial and municipal authorities across the country are increasing preventative measures to prevent and contain the outbreak.

Vietnam is the third country is Asia after China and Mongolia to report the outbreak of the disease. 

Vietnam Airlines have asked its passengers to strictly follow the regulations on vegetable and meat imports into Australia and Japan.

As of 2017, Vietnam had 2.5 million households raising 13.8 million pigs while 14.167 farms raising 14.4 million pigs.