|Provincial authorities have sent vaccines and chemicals to sterilize infected areas. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — A new outbreak of foot and mouth disease has been reported among cattle and pigs in the northern mountainous provinces of Bac Can and Lao Cai after residents illegally imported infected animals, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
The latest outbreaks were reported in Bat Xat District's Trinh Tuong Commune, where more than 65 infected pigs and cattle have been culled.
Provincial authorities have sent vaccines and chemicals to sterilize infected areas.
To prevent the epidemic from spreading, agriculture minister Cao Duc Phat has sent an urgent dispatch to leaders of People's Committees in border provinces asking them to stop cattle smuggling through border gates.
The ministry has also asked authorities in the northern mountainous provinces and the central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh to control cattle transportation through border gates to prevent foot and mouth disease.
As well as vaccinating animals in the area, local authorities have stopped the transportation and slaughter of animals at high-risk from infectious diseases in neighbouring areas.
The ministry also instructed local authorities to implement measures against the sale and smuggling of cattle via border crossings, and to issue harsh penalties for those that violated regulations.
Provincial authorities should co-ordinate with veterinary departments to strengthen the inspection and monitoring of the disease to stop it from spreading, the minister added.
The provinces also needed to reinforce checks on the transportation, slaughter and smuggling of products to ensure food safety.
Since 2014, Border Guard forces in the northern province of Lang Son have detected and dealt with 700 cases of smuggling worth VND12 billion (US$571,400), seizing 34 tonnes of poultry meat and 55,000 birds during that time. — VNS