| Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, addresses the conference
Minister Cuong made the request during a conference in Hanoi on July 11 to discuss solutions that could prevent the further spread of the African swine fever (ASF) epidemic.
According to Phung Duc Tien, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, outbreaks of ASF have been discovered in 5,422 communes and 513 districts of 62 provinces and cities nationwide.
To date, a total of 3.3 million pigs have been culled in line with existing regulations. The south-central province of Ninh Thuan is the only locality that has remained free from the disease.
The country is now home to 2.5 million pig-farming households. The spread of ASF in localities across the country can be attributed to complicated development in weather patterns, the transportation of pigs and pork products, and swine farms not strictly applying bio-safety procedures during the pig raising process.
Minister Cuong added that ASF has inflicted huge economic damage on farms, particularly small-scale households. In recent times, several large-scale companies have applied bio-safety measures with the aim of keeping pig flocks unaffected by the disease.
A number of small-scale pig farms have also been applying their own creativity models aimed at minimising losses brought about by the ASF epidemic.
In the long-term, anti-ASF vaccines must be researched and developed as part of a range of bio-safety measures aimed at combatting the ASF epidemic, Minister Cuong noted.
Nguyen Xuan Duong, head of the Department of Livestock Production, advised residents to stay alert in terms of selecting antibiotics and other types of veterinary medicines used in animal husbandry.
Minister Cuong affirmed that the application of bio-safety measures remains the only solution to prevent the further spread of the ASF epidemic.