December 25, 2008


China posts good results in battle against animal diseases


The number of birds and animals that fell prey to major epidemics this year dropped to a three-year low due to measures that check disease outbreaks, according to a senior Agriculture Ministry official on Wednesday (Dec 24).


The number of fowls infected with bird flu fell 60 percent to 9,000 birds, said Li Jinxiang, director of the ministry's veterinary bureau.


A total of 7,648 pigs were infected with porcine reproduction and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), down 97 percent on-year.


The number of animals infected with foot-and-mouth disease also dropped 80 percent to 123 cases, said the ministry.


Li said China has paid greater attention to animal disease control this year, enforcing vaccination programmes and surveillance.


Li said a general nationwide survey shows the free inoculation programme for livestock covered 95 percent of China's villages and towns.


Supervision officials investigated more than 43,000 cases and seized 238,200 tonnes of substandard or potentially harmful meat products this year, said Li.


China's authorities have allocated RMB1.7 billion (US$249 million) for animal epidemic control, and another RMB700 million (US$102.5 million) to boost the establishing of veterinary service stations in villages and towns.

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