Swine fever emergency in Vietnam, over 1mn pigs culled

May 14, 2019

Southeast Asia’s Vietnam has culled some 1.2 million farmed pigs on suspicion of infection by the African swine fever virus. It was first reported in the nation in February 2019 and has since spread to 29 provinces, including Dong Nai, a notable supplier of pork consumed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s southern economic hub.

In Vietnam, pork attributes for three-quarters of total meat consumption, where most of its 30 million farm-raised pigs are consumed domestically. The Vietnamese government denotes a complicated evolution of the outbreak, and a high transmission risk of the virus. Many provinces had previously failed to detect outbreaks and cull infected pigs due to poor funds and limited space for safe disposal of the dead pigs.

However, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has advised Vietnam to declare the swine fever outbreak as a national emergency as therapidly-spreading disease was even reported in neighbouring China.China’s hog population has already been greatly reduced by African swine fever – China’s National Bureau of Statistics states a 40 million reduction, but it is believed infection numbers and the number of culled pigs were under-reported. The fatal virus is not communicable to humans and can only be contained through culling of the affected swine herd. There might be a global shortage in pork in to overcome China’s reduced production, if further mass culling occurs.

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