Vietnam greenlights live pig imports

By Dat Nguyen   May 29, 2020 | 01:07 am PT
Vietnam greenlights live pig imports
A pig seen at a farm in Long Bien District, Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Thai Anh.
To contain rising pork prices caused by African swine fever, Vietnam will allow the import of live pigs for the first time.

Phung Duc Tien, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, told reporters Thursday the ministry is considering imports from Thailand, regulated in number to avoid hurting domestic producers.

Imported pigs must be quarantined for 30 days to ensure zero disease transmission, he stressed.

Pork prices this month hit a 20-year-high of VND103,000 ($4.4) per kilogram over scarcity caused by the African swine fever epidemic that broke out in February last year.

The number of female pigs nationwide reached 2.86 million as of April-end, up 5 percent from the end of last year, but down 28 percent over 2018, according to the agriculture ministry.

Authorities have been increasing pork imports to lower domestic prices. Vietnam so far this year has imported 67,000 tonnes of pork at an average prices of VND60,000 ($2.6) per kilogram, half the domestic figure.

However, industry insiders say Vietnamese, who prefer fresh meat, mostly snort at imported pork.

Vietnam has had to cull more than 4,000 pigs infected with African swine fever in 20 localities this year after the incurable disease returned.

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