China defends handling of disease outbreak in pigs

BEIJING - China rejected criticism that it had downplayed an outbreak of a disease in pigs, saying it had been "open and transparent" with the international community.
calendar icon 20 August 2007
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As of Sunday, blue ear pig disease had spread to 26 Chinese provinces, killing 68,000 pigs and prompting officials to destroy an additional 175,000 pigs, said Jia Youling, chief veterinary officer with the Ministry of Agriculture.

China has so far vaccinated 100 million pigs against the disease, which is also known as highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, he said. The disease does not affect people but can be fatal for pigs.

"We have currently seen initial success in controlling the outbreak of highly pathogenic blue ear pig disease," said Jia. He added that China had been "open and transparent" about the disease and had provided regular updates to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

Source: International Herald Tribune

Further Reading

Unidentified virus decimates China's pig population
Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS)
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