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Blue ear disease attacks pigs in Mekong Delta province
02 | 08 | 2007
The latest incident of a deadly virus that affects pigs was confirmed last weekend in the Mekong Delta province of Long An following several outbreaks in the central provinces, said animal health officials.

Local veterinary workers on Saturday destroyed 32 infected pigs in Can Giuoc District in Long An Province.

District veterinary officials have sent five veterinary teams to the commune to disinfect the area to stem the spread of the disease, which is caused by the Lelstad virus.

Officials said they would temporarily ban the transport of pigs into and out of affected districts, and that pig breeding and slaughtering would be closely monitored. Trading in unquarantined pig products at lower prices would be forbidden, they said.

The latest outbreak of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), commonly known as blue ear disease, in the neighbouring province of Long An Province has put officials on high alert.

The vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, Nguyen Huu Tin, last week asked market management officials and local veterinary officials to strengthen inspection to prevent the transport of sick pigs into the city.

Pig farms in the city were asked to ban strangers from visiting farms, check the feed for pigs and regularly disinfect farms.

The city has also told the public to avoid contact with sick pigs and only eat quarantined pigs or boiled pork.

Blue ear disease late last week spread to more towns and districts in the provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Da Nang and Thua Thien-Hue, with 28,000 pigs infected. Two-thousand have died or been culled.

Bui Quang Anh, head of the National Animal Health Department, said an epidemic could break out because of the transport of sick pigs from the central provinces to southeast provinces and HCM City.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development last week decided to give farmers VND10,000 for each kilo of culled pigs

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