March 25, 2019 04:05

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Which plan is to prevent African hog cholera infecting Vietnam?

20:26 | 20/09/2018

Related to the prevention of hog cholera in Africa, Mr. Dam Xuan Thanh, Deputy Director General of the Department of Animal Health (DAH) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, spoke to the press about solutions along with scenarios, situations that have been set by the DAH to take the initiative to prevent African hog cholera infecting Vietnam.

Recently, many countries have issued a ban on importing pork from China, so does Vietnam import pork from China, Sir?

Currently, Vietnam is importing pork from many countries in America, Europe..., but not allowed to import pork and pork products from China. For all imported products smuggled through unofficial trade, therefore, measures should be taken to prevent this smuggling to prevent the spread of African swine cholera virus from infecting Vietnam.

Specifically, all cases of pigs and pork products, including processed products, that are illegally imported or have unidentified origin from China, even under the form of gifts or presents of border residents must be arrested, handled and destroyed. Simultaneously, take samples and send to one of the eight laboratories under the Department of Animal Health to test for the African cholera virus.

ASF viruses have a complex structure with good resistance outside the environment and are only killed when boiled for about 30 minutes. While at low temperatures such as when frozen, it can exist for very long time, maybe up to several years. As a result, many products that have been processed can still carry pathogens because the processing has not reached the temperature for the required time needed for destroying the virus.

Thus, all travelers from countries and territories with ASF viruses must be closely monitored, and handbags without a quarantine certificate must be confiscated and destroyed.

What is the measure to control imported pork?

By the official trade, in accordance with the Law on Animal Health and the guiding Circulars of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, animals and animal products in general, including pigs and pig products are checked strictly.

Accordingly, the product must come from safe territories, the plant must ensure the conditions of disease safety and food safety. When imported into Vietnam, these products are also checked and sampled for each batch, i.e., 100% inspection.

Thus, the official trade imports are not a problem, the most concern is the smuggling.

ASF viruses are not spreading as fast as the foot-and-mouth virus or blue ear disease, but through outbreaks around the world, the spread is primarily due to human factors through transport activities.

In China, the African pig cholera has been found only since August 1, but after a month, there are 6 provinces where the epidemic is occurring, and although the provinces are far away, there are provinces that are thousands of kilometers apart.

Thus, preventing smuggled meat is the most important solution to prevent any infection in Vietnam.

Facing with that situation, on August 30, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issued the Emergency Decree No. 6741 to the Chairman of the People's Committee of the provinces and cities under the Central Government and concerned ministries and sectors on proactively preventing African pig cholera. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has advised the Government to issue an official telex.

Besides coordinating with ministries, sectors and localities in control of illegally imported meat, what is the Animal Health sector doing to actively prevent the epidemic?

The Department of Animal Health has been carrying out additional tests to determine the evidence of ASF viruses in all swine specimens sent by organizations and individuals to the laboratory of the Department since the beginning year.

The Department also requested the local authorities to collect samples from illegally imported pigs and pig products in Vietnam.

In addition, the Department has also proactively set up scenarios for treatment options in case of African pig cholera infection occurs in Vietnam.

For example, when tested positive for the African swine cholera virus, it must be localized within a radius of 3 km. At the detection area that is positive for African pig cholera, it must be completely destroyed, including live pigs, healed pigs and processed products from pigs, and disinfected.

At the same time, continue sampling to check outside the epidemic area. Accordingly, with only one positive sample for African pig cholera, all live pigs and pig products within that radius must be destroyed.

It is absolutely forbidden to transport pigs and pig products out of epidemic areas.

China's epidemic will lead to the scarce supply of pork, is this an opportunity for Vietnamese pork exports to China?

At present, China has not allowed Vietnam to export live pigs and pork to its market, we only export through unofficial trade.

However, China is also tightening its unofficial trade by tight inspections of goods, especially for land animals and animal products, including pork.

Due to China's lack of pork, the export of pork by the small quota also have a certain chance but not much.

So how do you recommend to the farmers in particular as well as the people to prevent this disease from infecting Vietnam?

First of all, people in the border area should be aware of the danger of African pig cholera and not help in the transportation and smuggling of pigs and pig products. If people want to bring pigs or pig products from abroad to Vietnam, they must have a quarantine certificate issued by the host country when returning home. It should not be just for a few kilograms of pork that carries dangerous germs into the country.

Thanks you very much !

By Kieu Oanh