May 12, 2006


FMD spreads to 20 Vietnamese provinces



The number of Vietnamese provinces affected by FMD has increased to 20 ,  but appears to be slowing down, an official said Thursday (May 11).


Some 26,000 cows and buffaloes and 10,500 pigs have been infected since the first outbreaks were reported in the two northern provinces of Cao Bang and Bac Kan, said Nguyen Van Thong, deputy director of the Department of Animal Health.


Thong said the spread of the disease appeared to be slowing because the number of reported outbreaks had declined over the past week. He did not give more details.


But he warned the disease could spread further because of weak surveillance, shortage of funds for vaccines and compensation for farmers, and poor border controls to prevent infected animals from being smuggled into the country.


The Agriculture Ministry has asked the government to pay farmers 80 percent of the market value of any animal destroyed due to the outbreak, but has yet to receive a response, he said.


The government, however, has provided nearly 700,000 doses of vaccines for six poorer provinces to fight the disease, he said.


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