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ASF Vietnam: Virus in 10 new provinces; culls rise to 1.6m

African Swine Fever (ASF) is on the loose in Vietnam. In OIE reports from this week, the cull count of the animals has risen to 1.57 million and 10 more provinces reported outbreaks.

The rise in culls to 1.57 million (as reported by the World Organization for Animal Health, OIE) is mainly due to updated figures of earlier locations. Figures for these locations have gone up at various places throughout the country.

A statement by the Vietnamese ministry of agriculture speaks of culls reaching even 1.7 million, news agency Reuters reported. In the statement, minister of agriculture Nguyen Xuan Cuong said, “The African swine fever outbreak is the most dangerous and costly of its kind in the husbandry industry of Vietnam.”

North Vietnam completely affected by ASF

Among the 10 new provinces, reporting outbreaks to the OIE, are Ha Giang and Tuyen Quang – the only northern provinces so far that had not reported ASF. This means effectively that each province in the north of Vietnam has now reported outbreaks.

The other 8 provinces reporting ASF now can be found in the south of the country, 6 of them even to the south west of Ho Chi Minh City.

In total, now 44 provinces and municipalities in Vietnam have reported outbreaks of ASF; only roughly 20 did not report the virus yet.

Pigs on a farm in southern Vietnam. Photo: Vincent ter Beek
Pigs on a farm in southern Vietnam. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

ASF China

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) also reported 2 new outbreaks of African Swine Fever. One was found in Wenshan Prefecture, part of Yunnan province, less than 100 km from the border with Vietnam. The other appears to have been a small outbreak on a farm in Guangxi province, also in southern China.

According to news agency Reuters, China will start work on clinical trials of an African Swine Fever vaccine. Following reports by state media, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute has found two vaccine candidates, proven in laboratory tests to offer immunity to the disease. The report was quoted to say, “In the next step, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences will accelerate the progress of pilot and clinical trials, as well as vaccine production.” 

ASF on island administered by Taiwan

Lastly, a new pig carcass washed ashore on one of the islands belonging to the Kinmen archipelago, off the coast of mainland China’s Fujian province, but administered by Taiwan. The animal, discovered on May 21, was confirmed positive for ASF. The authorities checked 4 farms in the surrounding area of the finding place, but everything was found to be calm there.

The pig that washed ashore at the Kinmen Island archipelago on May 21. Photo: Taiwan Central Emergency Operation Center
The pig that washed ashore at the Kinmen Island archipelago on May 21. Photo: Taiwan Central Emergency Operation Center