|A pig farm in Đồng Nai Province. - Photo tuoitre.vn|Viet Nam News
ĐỒNG NAI — The southern province of Đồng Nai, dubbed Việt Nam’s capital of pig farming, announced on Wednesday that it would spend VNĐ17.3 billion (US$768,800) to prevent the deadly African swine fever from spreading to the area.
The committed budget is part of the Đồng Nai People’s Committee’s newly approved action plan on prevention and emergency response in case the virus reaches the province.
The African swine fever is a highly contagious viral disease which can be lethal to domestic pigs and wild boars. There is no vaccine so far. It is not transmittable to humans but poses certain risks to food safety.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, 17 countries and territories reported the emergence of the pig disease, with the number of hogs destroyed to contain the virus totalling more than 500,000 between late 2017 and September 10, 2018. Việt Nam’s neighbour China confirmed 14 outbreaks across six provinces and had to cull more than 38,000 hogs nationwide.
Việt Nam is deemed at a high risk of infection as the illegal practice of smuggling undocumented pigs into the country via the northern border remains quite common.
Đồng Nai – the country’s most important hog farming province with more than 2.2 million pigs – has several key roads running across it which make it “highly vulnerable” to transmission of the disease, said local authorities.
The People’s Committee asked the local steering committees on prevention and combating pests and diseases to work out plans to control any potential outbreaks as soon as they are detected and to diminish the chance of spreading the disease to a wider area. — VNS