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African swine fever confirmed in Vietnam

21st Feb 2019 / By Alistair Driver

African swine fever (ASF) has been detected in Vietnam for the first time, with eight outbreaks reported in two northern provinces.

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, while neighbouring farms are being tested, according to the University of Minnesota's Swine Health Information Center.  

ASF vietnam map

Local authorities have put in place measures to contain the outbreaks and disinfect the area through quarantine and restrictions of animal movements. 

On the same day, 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. The virus has also been reported in neighbouring Mongolia. 

Last week the Taiwanese authorities announced that ASF was detected in seized pork products, presumably from Vietnam, at the Tainan airport.

According to Taiwanese authorities, since late August 2018 they have been testing samples of pork products from foreign countries. From a total of 928 tested samples, 20 samples have been found to be ASF-contaminated.

All positive samples originated from China, until this first case of a confiscated product of a passenger entering Taiwan 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.