Vietnam uses budget reserves to cull pigs as African swine fever spreads nationwide

By Minh Minh   June 26, 2019 | 04:55 pm PT
Vietnam uses budget reserves to cull pigs as African swine fever spreads nationwide
An animal health official inspects a farm with dead pigs in Hanoi, May 27, 2019. Photo by AFP/File.
Vietnam will use VND1.27 trillion ($54.5 million) from its annual budget reserves to help six provinces kill pigs infected with African swine fever.

The funds will be sent to the northern provinces of Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Thai Binh, Ha Nam, Nam Dinh and Quang Ninh, the Ministry of Finance said. These provinces have suffered the most, with the disease spreading to all districts and related expenses exceeding their own reserves.  

When farmers report the infection to the authorities, they will be compensated with a certain sum based on the weight of the pigs that have to be killed.

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 worth estimated 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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