Deputy PM urges measures to prevent spread of African swine fever hinh anh 1Veterinary workers culled sick pigs in Thanh Hoa province. (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) - Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), relevant agencies and local authorities to urgently implement measures to prevent the spread of African swine fever.

The Deputy PM asked local authorities and agencies to provide timely information for pig breeders and to assist those who own infected pigs.

The official chaired an emergency meeting on February 28 to discuss measures to prevent and limit the fever’s spread. The move followed a Government order to implement prompt measures to prevent the disease spreading.

MARD Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien said African swine fever had been found in 20 communes of 13 districts in four provinces, Hung Yen, Thai Binh, Thanh Hoa and Ha Nam, and Hai Phong city.

The total number of culled pigs was nearly 2,350 with estimated losses of tens of billions of dong.

Sick pigs were found at a farm in Van Xa commune, Kim Bang district, Ha Nam province early this week.

All 15 pigs with the disease were culled and buried immediately by the provincial Department of Animal Health and local authorities. Measures to control the spread of disease were implemented in the locality.

The department took 388 pig samples for testing from the farms of 98 households near the affected household.

The tests found most of the pigs were safe, however at some households, infected pigs were found and culled.

Tien said one of the reasons for the disease’s spread was ineffective prevention efforts in some localities.

Pig breeding farms haven’t supervised and timely reported information on the disease to authorities. Infected pigs must be culled, while antiseptic substances must be sprayed on vehicles coming into and out of infected areas to prevent possible outbreaks, according to Tien.

MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said: “African swine fever does not spread to humans and poultry, but the disease is very dangerous because pigs die quickly and there is no vaccine.

“Solutions must be implemented synchronously. Disease prevention is the main goal to avoid causing panic for people.”

The minister urged localities at border areas to tighten control on trading, slaughtering and transporting pigs and pork products to prevent outbreaks of the disease.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), African swine fever is a fatal infectious disease caused by a virus which spreads rapidly among pigs.

The OIE estimates that since early 2017, as many as 20 countries have reported infections of African swine fever with more than one million pigs culled.-VNA