Vietnam has culled more than 1.2 million pigs infected with African swine fever (ASF), Vietnamese government officials said on Monday.
The virus continues to spread rapidly in the Southeast Asian country where pork accounts for 75% of total meat consumption. Vietnam, a country of 95 million people, consumes most of its 30 million farm-raised pigs domestically.
The virus was first detected in Vietnam in February and has now spread to 29 provinces, including Dong Nai, which supplies around 40% of the pork consumed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s southern economic hub, Reuters reported.
“The risk of the virus spreading further is very high and the evolution of the outbreak is complicated,” the government said in a statement.
Many provinces failed to detect outbreaks and cull ASF-infected pigs properly. Reuters reported that this is due to a lack of funds and the space needed for burying the dead pigs.
In March, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization advised Vietnam to declare the ASF outbreak a national emergency. The disease, which is harmless to humans but deadly to pigs, is ravishing neighboring China.
South Africa Reports Fourth Province Hit By ASF
A fourth province in South Africa has reported an ASF outbreak, the agricultural ministry in South Africa said on Monday.
The latest case was reported in the Heilbron area of the central Free State Province after the disease was detected in the country’s North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces in April, Reuters reported.
The affected areas have been placed under quarantine and investigations are underway to trace the origin of the outbreaks and identify other farms that may be affected, the ministry said in a statement.