China urges prevention of blue-ear pig disease

Updated: 2007-06-08 10:46

BEIJING -- China's Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday issued a notice to call for intensified prevention and control of blue-ear pig disease as the country is entering the peak season for the disease.

The highly pathogenic blue-ear disease, also known as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), has already killed 18,000 pigs this year.

The notice said local governments should improve the emergency plans for the disease outbreak and section off and cease pork trading in affected areas at the time of an outbreak.

New vaccines for the disease, produced under the supervision of China's Veterinary Medicine Supervisory Institution, have been put into use, said the notice.

Local governments should establish immunity records for pigs, it said.

The notice also said local authorities should increase studies on the cause of the disease and strengthen inspections and quarantine of pig delivery.

Pig breeders have been ordered not to kill, eat, sale and deliver pigs that have died from the disease and treat the dead animals and their excrement properly, according to the notice.

The notice also said stricter disinfection measures should be taken in small pig farms.

Between January and May, 45,000 pigs contracted the disease, but a ministry source failed to specify what provinces and regions had reported outbreaks. Earlier reports said south China's Guangdong Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region had reported outbreaks.

The ministry has dispatched inspection teams to supervise disease control and prevention work.

The outbreaks have contributed to rising pork prices in some areas. It is believed the price hikes will help raise the country's consumer price index, or CPI, to a new high for May.

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