In the third outbreak this year, hundreds of pigs have died of blue ear in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu in recent days.
The disease has spread quickly and might have infected the province’s pig-breeding farm.
Lam Tri Thong, head of the Bac Lieu Animal Health Department, says all precautions were taken to contain the disease when the first 30 pigs died in Vinh Hau Commune, Hoa Binh District, but to no avail.
The lelystad virus, which causes blue ear, has since been detected in other communes, mostly in Hoa Binh and Phuoc Long districts.
The infected animals include at least 400, or more than one third of the stock, on the province’s breeding farm, which has shut down and stopped selling pigs for now.
Many poor residents who were given free breeder pigs from the farm are claiming the disease originated there and infected the animals they were given.
Ly Sa Phal from Vinh Hau Commune says her pig showed signs of sickness the first day she took it home. “After several days, it got diarrhea and stopped eating.”
Thong from the department admits that most families receiving pigs from the farm have reported blue ear disease, but maintains that proper testing must be done to reach a definite conclusion.
He says the situation is complicated and concedes that the containment measures are proving ineffective.
Bac Lieu Province has ordered animal health officers to destroy any herd of pigs showing symptoms of blue ear, instead of waiting for test results.
The disease was successfully curbed nationwide five months ago, only to reemerge in the central province of Quang Nam in July.
Reported by Tran Thanh Phong