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PM orders action on African swine fever

Update: September, 14/2018 - 09:00
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), relevant agencies and localities to take prompt measures to prevent African swine fever reaching Việt Nam.— VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), relevant agencies and localities to take prompt measures to prevent African swine fever reaching Việt Nam.

African swine fever is a devastating infectious disease of pigs which is usually fatal. No vaccine exists to combat the virus. It does not affect humans nor does it affect other animal species other than pigs and wild boars. It can be transmitted either via direct animal contact or via dissemination of contaminated food.

Under his urgent message No 1194/CĐ-TTg to the agencies, Phúc said that according to the World Organisation for Animal Health, there are 17 countries and territories reporting the presence of African swine fever, with a total of over 500,000 pigs culled between late 2017 and September 10.

Data from the organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation also showed China had confirmed 14 outbreaks of the African swine fever in its six provinces of Anhui, Heilongjiang, Henan, Liaoning, Jiangsu and Zhejiang since early August. The total number of pigs culled reached over 38,000.

Therefore, Phúc said people were banned from transporting, trading and slaughtering pigs and pig products without clear origin. People were also prohibited from receiving pigs and pig products donated by organisations and individuals in the border areas.

Leaders of people’s committees at provincial and city levels were told to quickly task authorised agencies to tighten control at border areas to prevent African swine fever from entering the country, he said.

Agriculture and rural development departments of all localities were required to sterilise markets and slaughter houses between September 15 and October 15.

The departments had to immediately inform the agriculture ministry in case they find an outbreak of the virus, he said.

Localities’ responses

In response to the situation, the north-eastern province of Quảng Ninh, which has a long border with China, has required all districts to actively prepare for African swine fever.

The districts were ordered to inform all local residents so that they would not participate in transporting, trading and consuming pigs or pig products from China.

For districts of Hải Hà and Bình Liêu and Móng Cái City that share a border with China, the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department asked authorised agencies to urgently tighten control and seize pigs smuggled from China via the border in an attempt to control the situation.

Trần Xuân Đông, head of the provincial Livestock and Animal Health Department said many tourists pass through the Móng Cái Border Gate, meaning there is a high risk they will bring pork products into Việt Nam.

Additionally, authorised agencies discovered several people transporting and trading live pigs from China in Móng Cái City, even though authorised agencies had banned them from doing so, he said.

Thus, there are difficulties for authorised agencies in controlling the situation, he said.

In the meantime, the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai’s administration has conducted more inspections and strictly checked the origin of pigs and pig products in the localities, especially in areas sharing a border with China.

Nguyễn Thế Anh, vice chairman of the Hòa Mỹ Co-operative in Hà Nội’s Ứng Hòa District, said all farms of the co-operative had sprayed chemicals to sterilise areas and stopped transporting pig breeds from other provinces as well as carefully checked the origin of pig feed. — VNS

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