Blue ear recurs in southern Vietnam, infected meat sold in Hanoi

TN News

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The blue ear disease now spreading in northern Vietnam has reappeared in the south, an official says.

Diep Kinh Tan, vice minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said at a conference Tuesday that the disease has returned to Bac Lieu Province in the Mekong Delta as well as Dong Nai Province which neighbors Ho Chi Minh City.

Tuoi Tre newspaper report said the number of infected provinces has risen to eight, including six in the north: Hoa Binh, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Lang Son, Lai Chau, and Dien Bien.

In March this year, the ministry had announced that Vietnam was free from the disease. According to current regulations, a locality is considered free of an infectious disease if no new cases are reported in three weeks.

Tan said the recurrence proved loose control by local authorities.

He said the disease might spread over the southern region as a whole if it is not dealt with very firmly from the beginning.

Although localities have been ordered to destroy sick animals and those that have died from such contagious diseases, police in Hanoi on Tuesday night found tons of meat from blue ear infected pigs that a man had kept to supply to different food producers.

Four butchered pigs weighing around 400 kilograms were caught on a truck leaving the house of Nguyen Ba Trong, and police later found three to four tons of similar pork at his store in Chuong My District, news website VietNamNet reported.

The 30-year-old man said he had bought the dead pigs from the district at VND10,000 (less than half a dollar) a kilogram.

He said the pork is sold to makers of fermented foods and "ruoc," a dish comprising small strings of pork that is made dry and can be stored for long days.

The "ruoc" is sold for VND100,000-120,000 a kilogram.

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