The recent cold spells in the northern and north central regions have caused an estimated loss of 130 billion VND (6.63 million USD) for the animal husbandry sector, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Nearly 29,000 head of livestock in 19 provinces and cities, including buffaloes, cows, horses and goats, had died from the freezing temperatures, reported Do Kim Tuyen, the head of the Department of Livestock Breeding's Cattle Office, on June 25.

The ministry has proposed that the Government provide financial assistance worth 36 billion VND (1.8 million USD) for poor households to help them buy food for their cattle. Each household would receive 100,000 VND (5 USD) for each buffalo and cow lost.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said under the Prime Minister's Decision 142 to provide seeds and stock to farms and fisheries in areas hit by natural disasters or diseases, farmers will get 2 million VND (100 USD) for each buffalo or cow lost.

Tuyen said authorities of affected localities should support local farmers and instruct them to keep their livestock indoors, keep breeding areas warm and make sure the animals have enough food. The breeding department has also sent missions to various localities to make sure farmers are taking the necessary precautions to protect their livestock.

It has advised localities to differentiate between deaths caused by weather and those by disease, so as to prevent the spread of disease as the numbers of poultry and cattle being slaughtered and transported rise as Tet (Lunar New Year) festival nears, he said./.