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Vietnam says African swine fever epidemic put under control

Tuesday, April 09, 2019, 17:04 GMT+7
Vietnam says African swine fever epidemic put under control
An employee prepares pork at a slaughterhouse in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai. Photo: A Loc / Tuoi Tre

The African swine fever (ASF) epidemic has been put under control in Vietnam, with multiple localities reporting no new outbreaks in the past 30 days, the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said on Monday.

Five localities in Hanoi and the northern provinces of Ninh Binh, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, and Hoa Binh have been declared ASF-free, after no new infections have been reported in the past month.

Among them is Ninh Khang Commune in Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh, where authorities have exerted all efforts to promptly dispose of infected pigs, sterilize affected areas, and closely monitor the situation around the clock.

Such activities as raising, slaughtering, transporting, and trading pigs and pork have been back to normal in the commune.

Meanwhile, authorities in Hop Thanh Commune in Luong Son District, Hoa Binh Province, announced the eradication of the epidemic on April 5, while Hanoi’s Ngoc Thuy Ward was also cleared of the disease on March 28.

According to the law on animal health, a locality can mark the end of an epidemic if no new cases are recorded within a period of 30 days, said Dam Xuan Thanh, deputy head of the Department of Animal Health.

“The announcement creates an opportunity for local residents to resume their usual operations and trade,” Thanh added.

Nguyen Kim Doan, vice-president of the Livestock Association in the southern province of Dong Nai, confirmed on Monday that pork prices in the province have increased by VND10,000 (US$0.43) per kilogram compared to two weeks ago.

A pig slaughterhouse in Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre

A pig slaughterhouse in Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Tri / Tuoi Tre

Demand for the product has been rising as local consumers are bringing pork back into their regular menu, Doan elaborated.

In Ho Chi Minh City, an increasing amount of pork has been transported to the Hoc Mon and Binh Dien wholesale markets following a period of steep decline.

The cost of pork and related products at these venues has also started going up, Le Van Tien, deputy director of Hoc Mon Market, said, adding that the current prices are still 20 to 25 percent lower than the usual rates.

According to Phung Duc Tien, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the agency has been working with major livestock enterprises in the country to improve biosafety and protect healthy pigs.

Relevant agencies have asked owners of small-scale facilities to thoroughly sterilize their farms and nearby areas, and to make sure the food for their pigs is disease-free, Tien continued.

Multiple meetings have been convened to discuss the potential production of a vaccine for ASF as a long-term solution, the official added.

The ASF epidemic was first recorded in Vietnam in mid-February and has spread to a total of 23 provinces and cities in the northern and north-central regions, whereas more than 73,000 infected pigs have since been destroyed.

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