African swine fever costs Hanoi $43 million

By Tat Dinh   July 1, 2019 | 04:42 pm PT
African swine fever costs Hanoi $43 million
Pigs are seen at a farm outside Hanoi, June 28, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Around 414,000 pigs with African swine fever have been culled in Hanoi, inflicting losses of VND1 trillion ($43 million).

Chu Phu My, director of Hanoi’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the losses included fees for culling infected pigs, sanitization chemicals and other epidemic prevention measures.

The African swine fever reached the city in early March and has spread to 24 of 29 its districts.

Under current regulations, local authorities have to pay a certain sum to households whose pigs are killed, based on the weight of the pigs. They payment has to be made within a week. However, as of mid-June, many districts, including Ung Hoa, Quoc Hoai, Thach That and Soc Son, had run out of budget reserves to compensate affected farms.

Hanoi has been killing around 10,000 pigs infected with African swine fever every day last week, up from 6,000 in previous weeks.

The disease has spread to farms run by over 23,300 households, or 30 percent of all farming households in the capital city, according to the Hanoi People’s Committee.

Around 1.9 million pigs are raised in Hanoi, the country's second biggest herd after the southern province of Dong Nai, which raises around 2.5 million.

60 of Vietnam’s 63 cities and provinces have seen outbreaks, with only Ninh Thuan in the south-central region, Tay Ninh near Ho Chi Minh City and Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta being spared to date. Over 2.2 million pigs have been culled, causing losses of at least VND3.6 trillion ($154.77 million).

African swine fever first appeared in northern Vietnam in early February and quickly spread across the northern and central regions before reaching the south in May.

The virus is shed in blood, saliva, tears, nasal secretions, urine, feces, and secretions from the animal's genital tract. Pigs can thus get the infection by contact with many different infected sources, mainly other infected pigs, pork and other pig-derived products but also any other contaminated object, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. While the disease is incurable, it does not affect humans.

Data from the World Organization for Animal Health shows that as of June 20, 14 countries and territories were suffering from new or ongoing outbreaks of the disease: Belgium, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, mainland China, Hong Kong, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam and South Africa.

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