Lao gov't beefs up action against African swine fever

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-20 16:27:29|Editor: huaxia

VIENTIANE, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is accelerating efforts to support pig farmers following two outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in the last two years.

According to local daily Vientiane Times on Tuesday, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bounkhuang Khambounheuang said that Laos detected ASF on in May, 2019, and by November that year, the disease had spread to 170 villages in 57 districts of 18 provinces across the country.

The first outbreak resulted in 16,576 pigs being infected and dying while authorities destroyed another 4,689.

The year's second phase outbreak from June to October has affected 43 villages in 15 districts of northern provinces. Some 2,198 pigs have died with another 2,147 destroyed.

Bounkhuang explained the disease was extremely contagious, especially among smallholder farms which use basic rearing methods with low biosecurity. Feeding pigs unprocessed household food waste and selling infected livestock to other farmers were contributing factors to the widespread outbreaks.

According to the Center for Animal Disease Research, the epidemic has eased somewhat in recent weeks. Nevertheless, the ministry is stepping up measures with provincial authorities to control ASF.

Bounkhuang called on livestock and fisheries offices throughout the country to remain vigilant and continue collecting and monitoring information on all types of animal husbandry as the basis for planning against disease outbreaks.

African swine fever can not be passed from animals to humans, but people can spread the disease. The animal epidemic affects pigs and wild boars and has an almost 100 percent death rate. It requires high temperatures to kill the virus and it can survive up to three years in frozen meat and up to one year in dried meat. Enditem