African swine fever (ASF) has spread across 62 out of 63 provinces and centrally-run cities in the country, forcing the cull of more than 3.3 million pigs (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – African swine fever (ASF) has spread across 62 out of 63 provinces and centrally-run cities in the country, forcing the cull of more than 3.3 million pigs, the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported on July 11.

At a conference on measures to fight ASF held in Hanoi on July 11, the department said the south-central province of Ninh Thuan is the only locality free from the disease, which is not curable in pigs but does not transmit to humans.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said pending the successful production of vaccine, the best solution at present to cope with the disease is to apply strict bio-safety procedures in pig raising. He cited the example of Que Lam group in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, whose pig farms are still safe from ASF.

Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Quang Ninh province Dang Huy Hau stressed the need to shift to large-scale animal husbandry and invest in concentrated abattoirs to curb the spread of the disease. He noted that household farms and scattered small-scale slaughter houses are the main cause of the transmission of the virus.

Discussing the possible shortage of pork towards the end of the year, Minister Cuong said the ministry has joined hand with localities to develop other types of foods to compensate for pork. He added that the output of poultry has increased by 7.2 percent in the first half of the year.-VNA