[ 2007-06-12 09:20 ]
|18,597 pigs were killed by the highly pathogenic blue-ear
The highly pathogenic blue-ear
disease hit 22 provinces during the first five months of this
year, killing 18,597 pigs, the country's chief veterinarian said yesterday.
Also known as Porcine Reproductive and
Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), the disease was found in 45,858
pigs, leading to the culling of 5,778, said Jia Youling, director of the
veterinary bureau affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Within three months of the disease being identified, a vaccine was developed;
and the ministry has authorized 12 factories to produce the vaccine, Jia said.
The Ministry of Finance has allocated 285 million yuan ($37.13 million)
toward free vaccines for smaller breeding farms, where the disease was
widespread last year.
Jia told a news briefing that the blue-ear disease, identified in January,
broke out last May with provinces along the Yangtze River region hardest hit.
About a million pigs died of what was then known as "high-fever disease" last
"The disease caused panic, but the pig death rate last year was actually
within the normal range of 6 to 8 percent. The 'high-fever disease' accounted
for only 0.2 percent of the fatalities."
Jia said the disease is not transmitted, or harmful, to humans but "it
spreads very quickly among pigs".
He also said the outbreak had partially led to recent hikes in pork prices
"but the main reason was the big price increases of animal feed that began last
Pork prices rose 35.5 percent in April and 10.4 percent in May to about 17.4
yuan ($2.27) per kg, according to official figures.
The ministry has ordered pig breeders to establish a nationwide immunization
system; and implemented a complete ban on the sale, transport and processing of
pigs that die from diseases.
More than half of the world's pigs are raised in China and residents consumed
50 million tons of pork last year.
highly pathogenic blue-ear disease：高致病性猪蓝耳病
Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome: