Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on May 19 inspects measures taken against African Swine Fever in Tiên Dương Commune, Đông Anh District, Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has called for joint efforts among the entire political system in the fight against African Swine Fever (ASF) which has spread across 34 cities and provinces nationwide.
The Government leader made the request at a meeting in Hà Nội’s outlying district of Đông Anh yesterday with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the People’s Committees of Hà Nội and Đông Anh District, and local pig breeders.
The working session took place after PM Phúc visited a pig farm in Tiên Dương Commune which has one of the highest rates on enforced culling in Hà Nội due to the disease.
He commended local health authorities and farmers for their efforts to contain the disease.
The PM underlined the responsibility of heads of agencies in the fight against the disease, and asked them and localities to double their efforts to control the outbreaks.
The veterinary sector needed to monitor and support pig farms that were free from the virus, he said, adding that localities should update agencies and people on the developments of the disease.
The Government leader also urged for measures to make sure consumers won’t “turn their backs” on pork, as the disease ddid not affect humans.
Hà Nội’s 1.87 million strong herd is among the biggest in the country and ASF made its first appearance in late February. The virus has hit pig farms in all 24 districts in Hà Nội, decimating local pigs. In Đông Anh District alone, 629 animals, or one fifth of the total, were infected.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung reported that apart from Đông Anh, Sóc Sơn and Phú Xuyên districts had also been heavily affected by the virus, which was showing signs of spreading, even to pig farms with good hygiene standards.
MARD Minister Nguyễn Xuân Cường said about 1.5 million pigs or 5 per cent of the country’s pig herds nationwide had been culled since the first case of AWF was detected in the northern province of Hưng Yên on February 1 this year.
Without stronger preventive measures, “the most dangerous outbreak that the husbandry industry has faced so far” may spread to all localities in Việt Nam, he said.
The agriculture minister warned that even localities declared free from the disease – meaning there had not been an incident or suspected sick pig within 30 days – were not entirely safe as the disease could easily return, as was the case in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province.
There is no vaccine for the haemorrhagic virus, which is considered to be highly resilient and contagious. — VNS