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ASF Vietnam: Virus travelling south; rumours from Cambodia

African Swine Fever (ASF) is continuing on its spread through Vietnam with rapid pace. Yesterday the news broke that an outbreak was confirmed in a village in mid-Vietnam, at 350 km south of the nearest outbreak location at that moment.

The new outbreak was found in the village called Phong Son, in Thua Thien-Hue province, at about 100 km from the well-known city Da Nang. The outbreak had started on 13 March, according to a report submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). In total 5 animals were infected, according to the report.

Cambodian authorities warn about ASF

There are serious signs that ASF has already spread further south, as warned by the Cambodian authorities that the virus would spread to Vietnam provinces adjacent to Cambodia, although nothing has been reported to the OIE so far. The newspaper The Phnom Penh Post reported that an official of the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said late last week that the virus would have entered zones neighbouring Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri and Kratie provinces.

Provinces bordering Ratanakkiri and Kratie are the Vietnamese provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc. Officially none of these provinces are reported infected at the OIE. In our interactive maps they have nevertheless received a pink colour, without having blue outbreak dots.

Tan Phannara, the general directorate of animal health and production director-general, said that he had received informal information regarding that from animal feed companies and animal raising associations. He called on officials in these provinces to remain alert, saying: “I have received information that [Vietnamese] provinces that border Ratanakkiri and Kratie are reporting cases of ASF, and so I urge all officials to be vigilant,” he said.

Read more about pig health in the Pig Progress Health Tool

Officially, Vietnam has reported 20 provinces with ASF, with 208 reports. When these figures are all added up, over 11,000 animals have been directly or indirectly impacted by the virus.

FAO calls on Vietnam to declare ASF a national emergency

In the meantime, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has called on Vietnam to declare ASF a national emergency, news agency Reuters reported. The FAO as this stage already spoke of 239 outbreaks being confirmed and cullings of over 25,000 animals.

The article quotes Albert T. Lieberg, FAO representative in Vietnam, saying: “The loss of pigs due to ASF infection and control measures leads to a heavy economic burden for many rural families.

Vietnam has been implementing strict movement control of pigs and pig products, but the FAO said small farms with low biosecurity will allow ASF’s spread.

Taiwan: 3rd infected pig washed ashore

Taiwan has reported that a 3rdinfected pig carcass has washed ashore on one of the islands off the coast of mainland China, governed by Taipei. On 12 March a piglet washed ashore in Liyu Township in the Kinmen archipelago, not too far from where the 1st animal was found on New Year’s Eve of 2018. After testing, this piglet was confirmed to be infected with ASF. Just like in 2 earlier cases, the surrounding pig farms tested negative for the virus.

The piglet that was found on the beach on March 12 tested positive for ASF. Photo: Taiwan Central Emergency Operation Center.
The piglet that was found on the beach on March 12 tested positive for ASF. Photo: Taiwan Central Emergency Operation Center.

The pig most likely drifted from mainland China to the Kinmen archipelago. China so far officially reported 117 outbreaks to the OIE, but it is generally believed that the situation on the ground in China is much worse.