Epidemics under strict scrutiny

Cities and provinces have been asked to tighten control of epidemics, especially blue ear pig disease, to ensure an adequate supply of food and stabilise market prices in the remaining months of this year.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan made the request at a meeting of the National Committee for Bird Flu Control in Hanoi on October 25.

Tan quoted the Animal Health Department as saying that bird flu and foot-and-mouth epidemics have been brought under control over the past two weeks. However, blue ear pig disease has broken out in some localities across the country.

He warned of possible high risks of epidemic recurrence in the coming months as the transitional period between autumn and winter often lowers the immunity of birds and cattle against pathogenic viruses.

The Animal Health Department proposed that a national sterilisation campaign be launched to prevent the recurrence of epidemics in animals and cattle.

The department is scheduled to invite bids on October 27 for importing 60 million doses of bird flu vaccines to be supplied to southern provinces for the second inoculation drive this year. It will sign a deal with bid winners to purchase 3.7 million doses of foot-and-mouth vaccines for affected localities.

Tan asked the Livestock Breeding Department to consider supplying offspring, particularly suckling pigs, to farmers, and work closely with local authorities to prevent any new possible outbreaks of epidemics.