Nearly 2.5 million pigs culled due to African swine fever

The African swine fever (ASF) in pigs has appeared in 55 out of 63 provinces and centrally run cities in the country, forcing the cull of 2.5 million pigs, or 7.5 percent of the total pig stocks, it was reported at a conference on fighting the disease and restoring the pig farming industry on June 13. 

The conference was held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and attended by delegates from many localities and big livestock farming companies. 

As of June 11, the disease had been reported at 3,980 communes in 407 districts of 55 provinces and cities, with Ho Chi Minh City the latest hit. Meanwhile, 199 communes in 92 districts of 25 provinces and cities have recorded no new outbreaks for at least 30 days. However, new outbreaks emerged again in 55 communes in 15 provinces and cities after a 30-day period of no new cases. 

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences is researching ASF vaccine, with initial positive outcomes on experimental scale. The academy is testing the vaccine on a larger scale.

He added that biological safety measures have proved to be an effective way to prevent the disease, citing the examples of big livestock farms which have so far remained safe from the disease.   

The minister stressed that an important task is to prevent food shortage. Since two months ago, the ministry has promoted the development of other types of meat such as poultry, aquatic products and cattle. The poultry stock has been expanded quickly. 

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien urged localities to tighten disease prevention, with one of solutions being enhancing the capacity of local veterinary force. He said it is necessary to set up professional teams for pig disposal and quarantine stations in key areas along the north-south highways.

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