BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- An official with the
Ministry of Agriculture on Monday dismissed allegations that blue-ear pig
disease had spread from China to Vietnam and Myanmar.
"It is groundless to say China
has transmitted the disease to the two
countries," Li Jinxiang, a veterinarian with the Ministry of Agriculture, said
at a press conference.
Li said he had heard the disease had occurred in
eastern and central parts of Vietnam from his Vietnamese counterparts, but the
OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) had not reported the epidemic on its
Meanwhile Myanmar has yet to officially confirm the
outbreak of the disease, he said.
"The disease, also called PRRS (Porcine Reproductive
and Respiratory Syndrome), was first recognized in the United States in 1987 and
spread to Canada, German and Netherlands in the following four years," said Li.
"Currently, the disease exists in major pig-raising
countries in the world," he said.
He said China had notified international
organizations including OIE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations of the DNA sequences of the virus and the epidemics.
Li also assured the press that China's agriculture
ministry is responsible and would inform the public of all potential epidemics
in a timely fashion.
Since the beginning of 2007, the blue-ear pig disease
has plagued 294 Chinese counties and infected 292,000 pigs, of which 77,000
died. The ministry has administered 510 million milliliters of vaccines to
immunize more than 200 million pigs.
In a separate case concerning the death of vaccinated
poultry in south China's Guangdong Province, Li insisted the vaccines were
effective, arguing vaccines were yet to develop any antibodies in the ducklings.
"Those ducklings were raised for only a dozen days or
so, while it usually takes two to three weeks for ducklings to develop
antibodies," said Li.
"Vaccinating fowls is a complex process," he said.
Last Monday, the ministry confirmed a bird flu
outbreak in Guangzhou, which began with the mass deaths of ducks on September 5.
The outbreak was confirmed as a sub-type of H5N1 bird
flu by the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory.
A total of 36,130 ducks had been culled as of Sept.
17, after farmers in Sixian Village and Xinzao Township in the Panyu district of
Guangzhou reported the deaths of ducks on Sept. 5.