Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has called for stricter administration of illegal trading and transport activities involving pet pigs across borders into the country amidst the African swine fever (ASF) epidemic spreading in the northern region.
The call was issued by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, at a time when an increasing number of miniature pigs kept as pets are illicitly transported from neighboring countries to Vietnam.
In Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, a mini pet pig is sold for a few million dong. (US$1 = VND23,256)
Pet pigs conceal high risk of ASF spread as the epidemic, a severe viral disease which affects both domestic and wild pigs. It is incurable and the infected swine have a 100 percent fatality rate, thus ASF can result in serious production and economic losses.
China, which shares Vietnam’s northern border line, reported a total of 113 AFS outbreaks in 28 provinces, resulting in forced destruction of more than 1.1 million pigs from March 8 to 16, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Meanwhile in Vietnam, 18 localities have reported cases of ASF and 26,807 pigs have been incinerated as of Saturday.