No longer is African Swine Fever (ASF) a problem that is only hitting pigs in villages in Vietnam. It has also started hitting large-scale industrial farms in the country, according to the Vietnamese authorities.
News agency Reuters reported about an official statement, mentioning that the ASF virus has emerged on larger industrial operations, including Phu Son Farm in Dong Nai province near Ho Chi Minh City. The authorities would have culled hundreds of animals at this farm site, which is home to 18,000 pigs.
The farm, owned by Phu Son Livestock Joint Stock Company, declined to comment to Reuters. According to the news agency, Phu Son Farm was founded in 1976 and mostly supplies pork to its surrounding province and Ho Chi Minh City.
ASF cases in Dong Nai province
So far, the outbreak has not been specifically been mentioned to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). It simply says that in Dong Nai province so far 16,118 pigs have been culled due to ASF.
According to Reuters, the government commented in the statement: “This is a very worrying sign as these farms have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of pigs each and therefore the damages would be significant.”
In the meantime, the virus has officially been reported to the OIE from 60 of the country’s 63 provinces. In total, about 2.7 million pigs have been culled according to the OIE – and even 2.8 million according to Reuters. Given that the total pig inventory in Vietnam was 27.4 million in 2017, about 10% of the total pig population in Vietnam has disappeared due to ASF.
It is likely that the virus will soon be reported from the last 3 remaining provinces of Vietnam as well, being Tay Ninh, Ben Tre and Ninh Thuan, all located in the south of Vietnam.
Pork for sale at a shopping centre in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Vincent ter Beek
More imports and higher pork import prices
ASF is also in neighbouring countries China, Laos and Cambodia. The ongoing outbreaks of the virus in Asia causes pork import prices in Vietnam to rise. Local outlet VN Express enquired with various importers and concluded there is a price rise by up to 30% as well as a strong increase in imports.
The website spoke to the CEO of Vissan, one of the largest importers. Its CEO, Nguyen Ngoc An said, “Import prices have risen from VND60,000 to VND80,000, or 33%. China, the world’s largest importer, is pushing prices up as its supply is unstable.”
The article also referred to the surge in pork imports. In the 1st 4 months of the year, import of pork and pork products rose 6.7 times from the same period last year to $ 23.58 million, according to Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).