A lot of sick pigs are being brought into Ho Chi Minh City every day, adding to the risk of the blue ear disease spreading here, health officials say.
The HCMC Animal Health Department says that half of the immigrant pigs and pork of dubious origin have tested positive for blue ear virus PRRS.
More than 2,000 pigs are brought every day to the city from nearby provinces such as Dong Nai, Long An, and Tay Ninh, and even from the north.
The department also found 12.5 percent of weaned piglets in the city infected with the virus. The animals have been destroyed.
According to the department, the number of mature pigs brought to the city has increased by 280-300 a day over the last year.
"Many processed piglets are brought to the city with the whole viscera, so it's hard for officials to check and contain the disease," said Phan Xuan Thao, head of HCMC Animal Health Department.
Thao said the virus sooner or later will affect the city given the climatic conditions with heat and high humidity.
As the city needs around 7,000 pigs a day and nearly 70 percent of them are brought from outside, Thao said the department has asked sellers and slaughterhouses not to take pigs from infected areas. If they do, their entire shipment will be destroyed, he said.
Since blue ear recurred in April, pork consumption in the northern region has dropped 30-40 percent and pork prices are down 15-24 percent, Nguyen Thanh Son, an animal health official from the Ministry of Health told a press conference Thursday.