Can Tho City has become the sixth locality in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta to be struck by the African swine fever (ASF) epidemic after authorities announced the outbreak on Saturday.
The disease was discovered at three pig farms in Thuong Thanh and Phu Thu Wards in Cai Rang District, and Long Hoa Ward in Binh Thuy District, said Nguyen Hoc He, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
More than 147 pigs were destroyed and the farms were thoroughly sanitize by competent authorities.
The provincial People’s Committee has established a steering committee led by Nguyen Thanh Dung, the administration’s vice-chairman, to deal with the epidemic.
Aside from Can Tho, five other provinces, namely Hau Giang, An Giang, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, and Kien Giang, have been hit by the disease since early April.
The Mekong Delta consists of one city, which is Can Tho, and 12 provinces.
Nearly 2,000 infected pigs, weighing a total of 111 metric tons, have been culled in the region.
African swine fever is a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs. It is harmless to humans but incurable in pigs.
The ASF epidemic was first uncovered in the northern provinces of Hung Yen and Thai Binh in mid-February and has so far affected more than 40 provinces and cities across Vietnam, including Hanoi.
The disease has spread to Binh Duong and Dong Nai, two out of six provinces bordering Ho Chi Minh City, prompting government bodies to take more assertive measures to protect the southern metropolis.
More than 1.7 million farmed pigs infected with the disease have been culled in Vietnam, accounting for over five percent of the country’s swine herd, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said at a conference on Saturday.
The ministry also warned of the increase in the number of affected localities in southern Vietnam, as the region is shifting between the dry and rainy seasons.