Ag Minister Takes Responsibility for FMD Pandemic07 April 2011
VIET NAM - In the outbreak of foot and mouth disease that infected over 135,000 cattle heads in 39 provinces, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) yesterday organized a video conference with the provinces hit by the epidemic.
According to MARD, the foot and mouth disease appeared last October. In the last two weeks, the number of provinces hit by the epidemic has increased from 30 to 39, with over 135,000 infected cattle.
The head of the MARD’s Veterinary Department Hoang Van Nam said the virus has changed completely, neutralizing vaccines, thereby causing the boom of the epidemic.
Dr Nam said that many provinces were very subjective in controlling the epidemic. Some provinces only knew about the pandemic one or even three months after it broke.
Minister Cao Duc Phat admitted that prompt actions had not been taken to advise farmers on the situation and provide them with necessary vaccines.
The epidemic will continue to spread, he said, therefore officials will soon be deployed to infected areas to contain the outbreak.
So far only 10 provinces have been able to control the disease.
According to surveillances from 2003 to 2010, the foot and mouth epidemic in Viet Nam was more complicated than other countries in the Southeast Asia region.
The country currently has more than 10 million cattle and 20 million pigs that need vaccination.