Vietnam’s Battle with African Swine Fever is Far from Over

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reports that it has culled 43,150 pigs, equivalent to about 2,157 tons, this year to slow the spread of African swine fever (ASF).

According to Xinhua, as many as 199 communes of 72 districts in 19 provinces and cities in Vietnam have reported ASF outbreaks within the past 21 days. The virus has been discovered this year mostly in northern mountainous areas of Vietnam, including the provinces of Lang Son, Cao Bang and Bac Kan, Xinhua reports.

However, the article said ASF outbreaks are still being discovered in small livestock operations that are failing to follow biosecurity measures. 

ASF prevention in Vietnam, including funds from the central budget and local budgets along with funds supported by banks and credit institutions, had reached over 13 trillion Vietnamese dong or $565.2 million by July, the article said. 

In 2019 alone, the deadly virus spread to all provinces and cities in Vietnam, leading to the culling and death of about 5.9 million pigs, Xinhua reports.

ASF, a deadly disease of both domestic and wild pigs, poses no threat to human health or food safety. However, this devasting virus is wreaking havoc on the global protein sector.

A $1.7-million USDA Foreign Agricultural Service grant awarded last fall to the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), with active support from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), is funding ASF research that will benefit both U.S. and Vietnamese pork producers. 

The grant’s overall goals include sharing veterinary knowledge and ways to prevent ASF from further spreading, while also helping to build veterinary capacity as well as strategic partnerships and increasing trade of US pork to the region. Here’s a look at the first six ASF-related research studies underway.

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