Blue-Ear Vaccine Is Effective and May Curb Disease in China

CHINA - China, the world's largest pork consumer, said a new vaccine for pigs against so-called Blue Ear Disease is effective, and may curb the rate of new infections among herds from next month.
calendar icon 26 July 2007
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Hong Kong pork

Some farmers had used an older vaccine against new strains, Li Jinxiang, deputy director of the veterinary bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture, said yesterday. Officials were "fairly optimistic" about resisting the spread of the disease, he said.

Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome, as the disease is also known, has contributed to a hog shortage, driving up local pork prices and helping push China's inflation rate to the highest in almost three years. The nation's central bank said June 5 it is "closely" watching rising food prices.

"The vaccine works, the infection rate of the disease should slow down in August," Li said at a press conference, answering a question about whether the vaccine works. "We are fairly optimistic about controlling the Blue Ear outbreaks."

As of July 22, there had been 651 outbreaks in 25 provinces so far this year, Li said. The disease affected 165,144 pigs, killing 45,546 and causing the culling of 42,728. In the first 22 days of July, there were outbreaks in 11 provinces, he said.

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