|A veterinary worker spraying disinfection substances in a pigsty. Photo dantri.com.vn
HÀ NỘI – About 98 per cent of communes nationwide have been announced as free from African swine fever, according to the head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)'s Animal Health Department, Phạm Văn Đông.
This year 1,008 African swine fever outbreaks have struck across the country, of which 531 outbreaks occurred from late last year, 27 were new outbreaks and 450 were recurrent outbreaks in 44 provinces and cities, forcing the destruction of 43,150 pigs, equal to 2,157 tonnes, Đông told a conference on animal diseases in Hà Nội yesterday.
The disease mainly hit northern mountainous provinces such as Lạng Sơn with 114 affected communes, Cao Bằng with 85 communes and Bắc Kạn with 64 communes.
The outbreaks only happened on small-scale household pig farms which do not ensure biosafety conditions while large-scale farms had remained free from the disease, Đông said.
By the end of the 2019 fiscal year, the Ministry of Finance allocated VNĐ5 trillion (US$216 million) for 53 localities to spend on disease prevention and control.
As of July 31, the ministry spent a further VNĐ1.26 trillion ($54.2 million) on the effort, said Đông.
The MARD recently submitted a plan of financial assistance for animal disease prevention this year to the Government.
Commercial banks and credit institutions have supported pig farmers in all 63 provinces and cities to restructure repayment periods with an outstanding balance of VNĐ606 billion ($26 million), exempting and reducing interests on outstanding loans to the tune of more than VNĐ163 billion (US$7 million) and giving new loans for production and business worth some VNĐ479 billion ($20 million).
To effectively re-organise pig breeding after the disease outbreak, the MARD proposed provinces and cities focus on solutions to prevent and control African swine fever to avoid the disease spreading on a large scale.
For localities with recurrent outbreaks, local People’s Committees must immediately set up working teams to monitor and control the situation.
In addition, the MARD will create favourable conditions for breeders and businesses to re-organise pig raising towards biosafety and being disease-free.
Businesses will get support to export meat and other husbandry products to China, South Korea and Singapore.
According to figures from Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), since earlier this year, African swine fever has been recorded in 31 nations and territories and 5.4 million pigs have been destroyed.
The disease is still affecting some countries in the ASEAN region such as Timor Leste, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar. – VNS