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MARD calls on people not to boycott pork

Update: March, 07/2019 - 05:00
Infected pigs are buried and covered in lime powder to prevent the spread of African swine flu in the northern province of Hưng Yên. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Tuấn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has told consumers there is no need to boycott safe pork products.

According to MARD’s Animal Health Department, African swine fever (ASF) cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans.

It is a viral disease impacting only pigs. ASF is transmitted through direct contact with infected pigs, their waste, contaminated clothing, feed, equipment and vehicles and in some cases, ticks.

The Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health said that because the disease can have serious impacts on pig herds and farmers’ incomes, it was necessary to take prompt preventive measures and control ASF.

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 MARD. The disease spread to these localities within a month, showing how quickly it can proliferate.

At a teleconference held on Monday with authorities of the country’s 63 provinces and cities, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc called for “drastic measures” to fight its spread.

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

The PM instructed localities to support farmers who had their infected pigs culled by providing them with financial aid worth 80 per cent of the market price of the culled pigs, including piglets and those raised for meat consumption. The aid rate will be 1.5 to 1.8 times higher for breeding pigs.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), as many as 20 countries have reported infections of ASF since early 2017 with more than one million pigs culled.

ASF causes hemorrhagic fever with a 100 per cent mortality rate. Currently there is no vaccine. — VNS

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