Vietnam urgently freezes safe pork at onset of African Swine Fever

At the National Assembly session yesterday, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that the government should urgently freeze safe pork at the onset of African Swine Fever (ASF) or else no more safe meat in the next few months.

Minister Cuong speaks at the National Assembly session (Photo: SGGP)

Minister Cuong speaks at the National Assembly session (Photo: SGGP)

According to the Minister, ASF has developed complicatedly in the country and in the world but there has been no drug or vaccine against the disease.
In Vietnam, pork makes up over 75 percent of total meat consumption; accordingly, the government have been aware of the disease. One week after the occurrence of the disease in the S-shape country, the agriculture sector had sent urgent dispatch to all relevant agencies.
Additionally, before the outbreaks of ASF, the government had been determined to write hypothetical scenario to fight it; however, its efforts were unrewarded despite thorough preparation.
Around 2.4 million small farms in residential quarters countrywide. Yet, so far, 44 cities and provinces reported the outbreaks of ASF and more than 2 million pigs had been culled accounting for 6 percent of total pigs in the country.
The deadly disease has been discovered on many farms in Dong Nai province, the country’s major producer of pork.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that keeping frozen safe pork is a matter of urgency or Vietnam will have no safe pork in next few months.
The Minister warned that the virus even attacked large –scale farms.
Because of the hazard of the pork industry, the Vietnamese Secretariat has ordered the entire machinery of state must mobilize to the fight against ASF. The Agriculture and Rural Development was determined to curb spread of the disease by biological methods and veterinary ways.
The most important is that the government should increase information of safe pork to people so that residents will not turn their back to safe meat and freeze safe pork for future use.
The sector decided not to increase herds of pigs as well as focus on raising poultry and aquatic animals as replacement for pork.
Minister Cuong said that last year saw good agricultural growth with export turnover of over US$40 billion. This year, it is forecast that competition in the field will be fiercer. Till now, forestry and fishery have seen positive growth whereas agriculture bumped into difficulties due to ASF.
Mr. Cuong added that scientists are making researches on biological methods to curb the spread of dead virus ASF meanwhile breeders have been given support worth VND38,000 (US$1.6) per kilogram of the infected pigs.
Plus, the government have been working on a sustainable agriculture not dependently on one kind of meat to prevent risks.

BY PHAN THAO - Translated by ANH QUAN

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