Millions of pigs destroyed as African swine fever spreads

Some 3.3 million pigs have been destroyed as the African swine fever has spread to 62 out of 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam.

The report from the Department of Animal Health showed that African swine fever was initially only discovered at a few places and the number of sick pigs was small. The disease has disappeared in 854 communes in 226 districts of 40 provinces.

However, because there’s no vaccine for the African swine fever, the virus can survive in the environment and the transmission routes are very diverse, the disease continues to spread in many areas. From early February to July 8, the disease has spread to 5,422 communes in 513 districts of 62 provinces. Over 3.3 million pigs have been destroyed. Only Ninh Thuan Province hasn’t been infected with the African swine fever.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said there were problems with the destruction of sick pigs. In some areas with low-lying terrain, the burial sites became waterlogged. In other places, the sterilisation process hadn’t been carried out widely and frequently.

“Some authorities haven’t been able to monitor the slaughtering process. As a result, people collected the dead pigs and sold the meat to restaurants. Animals transportation work also left a lot to be desired,” he said.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said if preventive measures were applied and the pigs were given medicines to boost their immune systems, the disease would be controlled. Nguyen Trong Long, head of Hoang Long Co-operative agreed, saying that their 6,000 pigs were still safe amid the outbreak.

Que Lam Corporation also said they successfully protected their pigs thanks to the biosafety farming process. They upgraded the cages, mixed their own feed for the pigs and used lacto powder to boost the pigs’ immune system. Many other firms have followed the same process and found measures to prevent the virus being transmitted from dirt, water, air and host animals.

Cuong said we had to find ways to live with the disease for now. Both household and commercial farms must apply biosafety farming methods. “If preventive measures are carried out correctly, the virus will not be able to spread among the pigs,” he said.

The Department of Animal Health, Department of Livestock Production, and the National Agricultural Extension Centre were asked to work together to complete the procedure and promote biosafety farming among farmers.

Source: Dtinews

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