African swine fever outbreaks discovered in Hung Yen, Thai Binh hinh anh 1Director of the Department of Animal Health Pham Van Dong (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam has detected African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in the northern provinces of Thai Binh and Hung Yen, unveiled Director of the Department of Animal Health Pham Van Dong on February 19.

Accordingly, the AFS virus was discovered in Hung Yen’s Trung Nghia commune (Hung Yen city) and Yen Hoa commune (Yen My district), with the results of samples taken from other farms surrounding the outbreak spots still pending.

Meanwhile, in Thai Binh, a number of household-based pig farms in Hung Ha district’s Dong Do commune were also found to be contaminated with the disease. The results of samples taken from nearby farms were negative.

Dong said in response to the detection, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has directed the culling of all infected pigs and the crucial conduction of a cleaning process in the hotspots and high-risk locations. The transport, slaughtering, and distribution of pork from the AFS-hit areas are under tight monitoring by competent agencies, while mass examinations of all pig farms in these communes will be launched.

The official advised farmers to stay calm and promptly inform the local animal health management units if they notice an outbreak, rather than trying to sell their infected pigs which could have widespread effects across the country.

The ASF virus does not affect humans but does cause haemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boars that is almost always fatal. There is no antidote or vaccine, and the only known preventative measure is a mass cull of infected livestock. The disease spreads by contact between infected pigs or other wild animals and can inflict massive economic damage on farms.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), between 2017 and February 18, 2019, 20 countries and regions have suffered from the ASF, with over 1.08 million pigs culled. A total of 105 outbreaks were discovered in China from August 3, 2018 to February 18, 2019, resulting in the termination of 950,000 pigs, while one dead pig was found to be positive with the ASF virus in Taiwan on January 17, 2019.

Given the complexity of ASF outbreaks in China, which borders many northern localities of Vietnam, the MARD had recently announced that the disease is at high risk of entering the country. –VNA