PM requests measures to control African swine fever

Update: March, 05/2019 - 09:00

Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked the whole political system, sectors, enterprises and farmers to take drastic measures to control the outbreak of African swine fever. —VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked the whole political system, sectors, enterprises and farmers to take drastic measures to control the outbreak of African swine fever.

The Government leader made the request while chairing a video teleconference yesterday with authorities of the country’s 63 provinces and cities on measures to put the disease under control.

As of Sunday, African swine fever had been found in 14 districts in seven localities, including Hưng Yên, Thái Bình, Hải Phòng, Thanh Hóa, Hà Nội, Hà Nam and Hải Dương, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The disease spread to these localities within a month, showing how quick it can spread.

The total number of culled pigs was more than 4,200, equivalent to 297 tonnes.

PM Phúc asked why the disease spread so quickly from one to seven localities although many measures have been taken and asked localities to have solutions to control the disease.

To prevent further spreading of the disease, PM Phúc ordered localities to ban the transport, trade, slaughtering and consumption of illegally imported pig products and those without clear origins.

He also asked ministries and agencies to disseminate accurate information on the disease to prevent public concern and encourage the participation of the public, particularly businesses and farmers in the fight against African swine fever, including not hiding the disease and not trading, transporting, slaughtering and consuming infected and dead pigs.

The PM instructed localities to support farmers who had their infected pigs culled to provide them with financial aid worth 80 per cent of market price for infected pigs forced to be culled, including baby pigs and pigs raised for meat consumption. The aid will be increased by 1.5-1.8 times for breeding pigs that were culled.    

He requested chairmen of the People’s Committees of localities nationwide have to take responsibility for disease prevention and control.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said there was high risk of the disease spreading, affecting the breeding sector, social security and the environment.

Many pig breeding farms have not reported information on the disease to authorities and tried to sell sick pigs, making it harder to keep the disease from spreading, according to the ministry.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that Việt Nam had many border gates so it was difficult to prevent the disease. In some localities, there were more than 10,000 people crossing border areas each day. Meanwhile, many Asian tourists bring pork products with them which could contain the virus.

Nearly 50 per cent of small breeding farms do not meet disease prevention and hygiene requirements, he said, adding that most outbreaks were found at small breeding farms without effective prevention and isolation measures.

Rainy weather also provided favourable conditions for the virus to spread, he said.

Although the disease was first discovered in Kenya in 1921, there is still no vaccine for the disease. The ministry plans to work with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Technology to study more effective preventive measures, according to Tiến.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), African swine fever is a fatal infectious disease caused by a virus which spreads rapidly among pigs.

The OIE estimates that since early 2017, as many as 20 countries have reported infections of African swine fever with more than 1 million pigs culled. — VNS