|Veterinary wokers cull pigs infected with African swine fever from a household in Tân Hiệp A Commune, Kiên Giang Province’s Tân Hiệp District. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt
HÀ NỘI Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has called for enhancing prevention and containment efforts in the fight against African swine fever (ASF).
In an urgent dispatch sent to ministries, agencies and authorities of centrally-run provinces and cities, he asked for the prompt detection and culling of sick pigs.
Cases of fraud in which people falsified the number of pigs culled in order to profit from the repayment policy should be strictly dealt with. The veterinary system at all levels should be strengthened and the transportation and slaughter of pigs should be controlled, the PM said.
It was necessary to guide breeders to practise hygiene and antiseptic methods and not use leftovers to feed pigs, he said. Biosecurity measures should be enhanced to protect pig herds after the epidemic is over.
PM Phúc asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to direct localities in how to restructure the animal husbandry industry and diversify its livestock, focusing on developing cattle, poultry and fisheries to offset the shortage of pork products.
According to MARD, African swine fever has been reported in more than 3,000 communes, wards and townships in 52 cities and provinces, resulting in the culling of more than 2 million pigs. 112 previously infected communes in 24 provinces and cities have made it 30 days without any new outbreaks.
The damage already caused by the disease, including compensation for culled pigs and other expenses, was estimated at around VNĐ3.6trillion (US$153.8 million).
Participants at a meeting organised by the MARD to discuss the level of support for breeders and businesses affected by ASF agreed that compensation should be based on the weight of the culled pigs. Localities should calculate the fund based on the market price at that time.
Nguyễn Huy Đăng, deputy director of the Hà Nội Agriculture and Rural Development Department, said the city had set the compensation rate for affected farmers in line with Government’s policy – VNĐ38,000 ($1.62) per kilogramme of live hogs. However, when the price declined, the department proposed the municipal People's Committee provide support equivalent to 80 per cent of the price announced by CP Vietnam Livestock Joint Stock Company to avoid having a compensation rate higher than the market prices. The money was sourced from the Disaster Prevention Fund, Đăng said.
Participants at the meeting also suggested raising the assistance for forces working to cull sick pigs which was equal to the price of hiring local workers, ranging from VNĐ300,000-500,000 ($13-$21) per day. VNS