HANOI, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has sent a notice to ministries, agencies and authorities of cities and provinces nationwide, urging them to effectively fight the spread of African swine fever (ASF) which has hit 53 localities so far, Vietnam News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The prime minister urged them to focus on such work as promptly discovering and culling sick pigs, strictly dealing with cases that seek profit from incentive policy for pig culling, strengthening vet systems at all levels, and controlling the transportation and slaughter of pigs in line with regulations.
He also asked them to raise farmers' awareness of hygiene solutions and accelerate the restructuring of animal husbandry sector to make up for the shortage of pork.
Ministries, agencies and members of the national steering committee on the prevention and control of ASF were told to arrange trips to localities to inspect the efforts.
As of Tuesday, ASF had stricken 53 cities and provinces, with the latest affected localities being southern Tra Vinh province and central Da Nang city, leading to the culling of nearly 2.2 million pigs nationwide, the agency quoted the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as saying.
ASF has been spotted in Cang Long district, Tra Vinh province which currently raises nearly 250,000 pigs, and Hoa Vang district, Da Nang city. This is the first time the disease has hit the coastal city.
ASF is a severe viral disease affecting domestic pigs and boars which can be spread by live or dead pigs and pork products, the World Organization for Animal Health said, noting that the ASF virus is harmless to human, but causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boars that is almost fatal.