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Blue-ear pig disease deaths rapidly increase in Burma

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The outbreak of blue-ear pig disease in Burma has now led to the death of more than 1,000 pigs, said Amrapura Township Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department officer Dr. Tun Myint Soe.

Pigs in a pen on the outskirts of Beijing are shown in this file photo from 2007, when more than  45,000 pigs in China were hit by the highly pathogenic blue-ear disease. AFP PHOTO/ Frederic J. Brown‘The disease spreads very fast’, he said. ‘Now thousands more pigs have been infected.’ He said the department has not been able to collect exact statistics.

The disease was first reported on February 15. The virus is spreading in Aungmyetharsan, Chanayetharsan, Mahaaungmye, Chanmyatharsi, Pyigyitagun, Amrapura, and Madaya and Sagaing townships, officials said.

“We have no treatment for this disease so we’re trying to control it by bio-technology preventive methods and by providing awareness campaigns to the townships’, said Tun Myint Soe. ‘We told people to spray insecticide and disinfectant around a pigsty, to boil their pig feed, to wear footwear before entering pigsties and to use quick lime if they can  not afford pesticide and disinfectant’.

The World Health Organisation for Animal Health has issued an emergency warning in Burma on the spread of the disease, also known as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus. The disease causes reproductive failure in breeding stock and respiratory tract illness in young pigs. According to Wikipedia, it was first reported in 1987 in North America and Central Europe.

The disease is characterised by pigs walking with a limp and body tremors. Later, their flesh turns a brown colour and they die, said Tun Myint Soe.

The Mandalay Division Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department is distributing insecticide and disinfectant to pig farms and small scale domestic pig owners free of charge and providing bio-technology control methods during field trips to inspect farms.

The disease cannot be communicated to humans who consume the meat of infected pigs.

Though the sale of pork has not been banned, residents in Mandalay told Mizzima that the consumption of pork has been affected.

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 March 2011 14:20 )  

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