Dept to consult Vietnam, China over battling ASF

Dept to consult Vietnam, China over battling ASF

The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) will consult authorities in China and Vietnam on how to combat African swine fever (ASF), says Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on.

The department will raise the ASF issue for a remote discussion with authorities in China and Vietnam on Feb 3.

The ministry is drawing on the two countries' experience in dealing with the disease that has the potential to cause widespread damage to pig farms and wreck the nation's pork industry.

Mr Chalermchai said yesterday the discussion will help the ministry tailor a solution to the ASF problem in Thailand.

After that, a budget will be proposed to the government to compensate farmers whose businesses were damaged by ASF.

A survey from Jan 10-25 by the ministry confirmed ASF to be prevalent in parts of 13 provinces -- Nakhon Pathom (in abattoirs), Bangkok, Suphan Buri, Phangnga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chumphon, Maha Sarakham, Mae Hong Son, Si Sa Ket, Khon Kaen, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Buri Ram and Nong Bua Lam Phu.

The minister clarified that areas within a 5-km radius of affected locations are being declared as ASF-prevalent.

Mr Chalermchai spoke as he emerged from a meeting of a national committee on the eradication of ASF.

The DLD has requested an emergency budget of 2.9 billion baht from the central fund to be disbursed as compensation to pigs farmers impacted by ASF.

The money is earmarked for assisting farmers to rebuild their businesses. In addition, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives has reserved 45 billion baht to lend to pig farmers for business rehabilitation.

The budget will also finance measures to prevent the disease.

In total, 10.8 million pigs are currently being reared, down by 11.8% from last year.

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