Farmers living in suburban districts of Hanoi have taken measures to prevent freezing and diseases among animals and poultry during cold weather.

The move aims to ensure meat supplies during Tet (Lunar New Year).

Tran Van Chien, head of Co Dong Livestock Co-operative, of Son Tay Town, said pig farms of the co-operative will not hold on to pigs.

He said the co-operative planned to sell nearly 2,000 tonnes of pork during Tet holiday.

Pigs cost about 54,000-57,000 VND (2.5-2.7 USD) per kilo liveweight.

Le Van Chu, a fish farmer of Ung Hoa District's Phuong Tu Commune, said the weather is cold and dull and the lack of sunshine is causing reduced oxygen levels in pond water, so he has to use aeration machines. Other farmers who raise cows or pigs are also worried about their animals' health because the weather is getting colder and colder.

Chairman of Ba Vi District-based Van Hoa Commune People's Committee Nguyen Dinh Hong said cold weather has hit milk production on dairy units.

A new cold spell will directly hit the northern region on the morning of Jan. 4, the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting has said.

During the next three days, the lowest temperature in Hanoi is predicted at 9 degree C and the highest 17 degree C with light rain in the north and heavy rain in the south.
The herd of 1,700 cows usually give over 1,500 kilos of fresh milk daily, he said.

Therefore, farmers have to warm their cows by lighting lamps and closing up their barns, he said.

The Hanoi Health Animal Department said farmers are advised to provide food containing vitamins to raise their animals' resistance to diseases.

They should also keep enclosed facilities clean.

There are about 1.53 million pigs and 18 million poultry city-wide, meeting 60 percent of the capital's meat consumption, the Hanoi Agriculture and Rural Development Department said.

The northern mountainous Cao Bang Province People's Committee has decided to spend 3 billion VND (144,000) to provide information to local farmers on how to prevent freezing for cows and buffalo./.