Management tightened to prevent African swine fever outbreak

March 12, 2019 - 06:00

New outbreaks of African swine fever have been found in the northern provinces of Quảng Ninh, Ninh Bình and Nam Định, raising the number of affected localities to 13

Infected pigs are culled in Nam Định Province. - VNA/VNS Photo Văn Đạt
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – New outbreaks of African swine fever have been found in the northern provinces of Quảng Ninh, Ninh Bình and Nam Định, raising the number of affected localities to 13.

On Sunday, four out of five samples taken in Trực Thắng Commune in Nam Định Province tested positive.

On the same day, outbreaks were reported at smallholdings in Quảng Ninh and Ninh Bình.

Phùng Đức Tiến, deputy minister of agriculture and rural development, said it was difficult to control the epidemic.

“A study of 68 outbreaks in China found three main causes leading to the spread of African swine fever: unsterilised vehicles and people accounted for 47 per cent, leftover food accounted for 34 per cent, and 19 per cent was due to the transportation of infected animals,” he said.  

Tiến asked localities to monitor affected areas and destroy sick pigs instead of trying to cure them.

Further prevention

As of Sunday, 170 quarantine checkpoints had been set up in the northern province of Hưng Yên to prevent the spread of African swine fever including ten on main roads and areas bordering Hà Nam, Thái Bình and Hải Dương provinces and Hà Nội City.

Seven others have been set up in Hưng Yên City where the first disease outbreak was detected.

Forces have been mobilised to prevent the transportation of infected pigs, spray disinfectant and sterilise vehicles and people entering the areas.

According to Trần Tùng Lâm, head of Hưng Yên Province’s Market Surveillance Agency, the force has conducted investigations at slaughterhouses to avoid the trade of infected pigs.

Nearly 2,900 pigs have been culled and destroyed.

Nguyễn Minh Quang, deputy head of the provincial People’s Committee, told Vietnam News Agency that prompt measures were being taken to localise outbreaks and fight the disease.

Last week, the National Agriculture Encouragement Centre organised training courses on safe pig farming for households living in high-risk areas such as Hưng Yên and Thái Bình.

Hạ Thuý Hạnh, deputy director of the centre, stressed the need for farmers’ engagement to prevent and combat the disease besides local authorities’ efforts to set up quarantine checkpoints.

“Farmers can establish their own checkpoints to stop the transportation of infected pigs,” she said.

According to MARD minister Nguyễn Xuân Cường, African swine fever does not spread to humans and poultry. However, the disease can kill pigs quickly and a vaccine is unavailable.

“Disease prevention is critical to avoid panic among the people,” he said.

Localities in border areas have been urged to strictly monitor the trade, dispatch and transporting of pigs and pork to prevent outbreaks of the disease.

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 had reported African swine fever with more than one million pigs culled. — VNS