Vietnam confirms first cases of African swine fever

Vietnam has announced its first cases of African swine fever (ASF), with eight outbreaks reported in two northern provinces, bordering China.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Animal Health Department confirmed on Tuesday that ASF has been detected in Hung Yen and Thai Binh, southeast of the capital city of Hanoi and approximately 100 miles (160 km) from the Chinese border.

All pigs on the eight affected farms have been culled and neighbouring farms are being tested, while local authorities have implemented measures to contain the virus through quarantine and animal movement restrictions, according to the University of Minnesota’s Swine Health Information Center.

Last week the Taiwanese authorities announced that ASF was detected in seized pork products, presumably from Vietnam, at the Tainan airport. They have been testing samples of pork products from foreign countries since August 2018, with 20 positive samples found. All positive samples had originated from China, until this first case on an airline coming from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The SHIC said speculation suggests the most likely route of introduction into Vietnam was through smuggling of contaminated pork products from China, based on volumes and price differentials between the two countries.

Also on Tuesday, the first case of ASF was reported in the Chinese province of Guangxi, one of the two Chinese provinces bordering Vietnam. The other neighbouring province, Yunnan, reported its first ASF case last October.

China’s agriculture ministry confirmed on Wednesday that the virus has now hit the major livestock production province of Shandong in the east for the first time. It was found on a farm with 4,504 pigs in the provincial capital Jinan, infecting 17 pigs.

China, home to the world’s largest pig herd, has now reported more than 100 cases of ASF in 27 provinces and regions since last August, with more than 950,000 pigs culled. ASF has also been reported in neighbouring Mongolia.

Vietnam Map – credit: University of Minnesota’s Swine Health Information Center

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.