Vietnam halts import of pork from Hungary, Poland from September 20. (Photo: Inside Retail Hong Kong)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has decided to halt the import of pork and pork products from Hungary and Poland to prevent the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus from entry into Vietnam.

The decision came after the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported that Hungary has detected 17 cases of the ASF virus in dead wild boars in Heves and Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg this year.

Meanwhile, the virus has been found in 315 wild boars and 162 domestic pigs across five Polish provinces – Warminsko-Mazurskie, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie Mazowieckie, and Lubelskie.

To prevent the ASF virus from entering Vietnam and protect public health, Vietnam will suspend the import of pork and pork products originating from Hungarian and Polish provinces affected by the epidemic from September 20, 2018 until the two European countries declare the end of the ASF outbreak in accordance with OIE regulations.

However, any consignment of pork and pork products from these affected areas will be permitted to enter Vietnam if it departed for the country before September 20.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has also requested animal health agencies to carefully examine these consignments.

ASF is a tuple of infectious hemorrhagic fever which has a 90-100 percent mortality rate for pigs and there is no vaccine or cure.

Although the disease is not dangerous to humans, it can cause great economic loss for farmers and harm pork trading.

From the end of 2017 to September 10, 17 countries and regions in Europe and Asia such as China and Estonia have had ASF outbreaks, with over 560,000 pigs culled, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

From the start of August to September 10, China reported 14 outbreaks, with 38,000 pigs culled. The disease is moving southward towards provinces near Vietnam.

ASF is spread from pig to pig through various ways, including animal feed contaminated with the pathogen, carriers such as ticks, or direct contact between infected pigs and healthy ones.
In Vietnam, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed a document on September 11 urging for proper measures to prevent the disease from entering Vietnam. Accordingly, all forms of transporting, trading, slaughtering and consuming imported pork products without clear origin are prohibited.

Tighter control was requested at border gates, trails and border areas while cities and provinces were asked to promptly detect and strictly punish any case of illegally transporting animals and their products from foreign countries. –VNA