News 917 views last update:Jun 9, 2008

Vietnam pig industry; Blue-ear disease update

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has asked the government to instigate policies to boost control of blue-ear pig disease, otherwise known as PRRS, so that farmers will receive 70% of the market price for each animal culled.

There have been three outbreaks of blue-ear disease in north, south and central provinces necessitating the slaughter of 288,000 animals of the 338,736 pigs found to be infected. The Government later announced it has agreed to increase compensation for pigs that have to be killed to VND 25,000 ($1.56)/kg.

Sales resume
Bui Quang Anh, head of the Veterinary Department  at MARD, issued a statement saying "The disease has not spread beyond nine provinces, and no new cases have been reported in the central province and the sale of pigs and pig products can resume. However, as the virus can still exist in pigs that appear to have recovered, they can still infect others. When pig farmers start breeding again, the risk of disease returning is possible if local authorities do not provide the right back-up to the Veterinary Department."

MARD has asked the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and China's General Department of Animal Health to send experts to Vietnam to help the country stamp out the epidemic, and has also signed a contract with China to import one million doses of blue-ear vaccine. To assist breeders the Government last year granted  VND 25 billion ($1.56 m) to the central provinces to prevent the spread of  blue-ear and foot-and ¬mouth diseases, and recently gave another VND 120 billion ($7.5 m) to central provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Nam to control the disease.

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