Pigs infected with African swine fever are collected to be culled. — Photo baochinhphu.vn
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has instructed localities hit by African swine fever (ASF) to detect whether there has been fraud designed to take advantage of the Government's financial support for farmers whose pigs were infected and to deter further violations.
In a document on the prevention and control of ASF sent to cities and provinces on Thursday, the ministry said some households had deliberately made false of inflated claims about the number of dead pigs to cash in on subsidies.
The fraudulent claims have made it more difficult to tackle the spread of the disease.
The ministry asked the people’s committees of affected localities to inspect all the subsidy claims. Farmers found to have made fraudulent claims will be strictly fined.
The move came after local press reported fraud in northern Hải Dương Province.
Many households in Tứ Kỳ District’s Bình Lãng Commune were found have submitted claims for subsidies for dead pigs despite owning no pigs at all. Some even made multiple claims.
Phùng Đức Tiến, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, told Vietnam News Agency the ministry has asked the Hải Dương Province People’s Committee to quickly clarify the situation and deal with violations.
The results of the province's inspection must be reported to the ministry by May 27.
The ministry has also asked local authorities of 63 cities and provinces to tighten supervision of the trade, slaughter and transport of pigs to prevent the further spread of the disease.
Anybody found to have deliberately kept information about infected pigs from the authorities would be fined, Tiến said.
Tiến said the spread of ASF has hit some areas in the south, where large-scale pig farms are located. Drastic measures should be taken to prevent more losses for the livestock industry.
Pork accounts for a large share of the nation's food supply. If the number of infected pigs continues to increase, there could be a pork shortage in the near future.
By Thursday, May 22, the outbreak had been reported in 40 cities and provinces nationwide with more than 1.6 million pigs culled, accounting for 6 per cent of the country's total.
Those who had pigs culled due to the disease will be compensated at a level of VNĐ 38,000 (US$1.58) per kilogramme. — VNS