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Authorities Ban Transport of Pigs and Pork from Pegu

by 5m Editor
24 May 2011, at 9:17am

MYANMAR - Because of the blue ear pig virus, also known as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), authorities have banned transporting pigs and pork from Pegu Region, according to the Rangoon Region Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department.

Checkpoints in Hlegu (45 km northeast of Rangoon) and Htandapin are stopping trucks to inspect their animal cargo.

"The blue ear pig virus can spread very rapidly so we are examining the vehicles which enter Rangoon," an official with the Rangoon Region Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department told Mizzima.

According to Dr Nay Soe, an official from the Taungoo Township Animal Husbandry and Veterinarian Department, blue ear pig epidemic has spread to 15 wards and 18 villages in Taungoo Township and 79 pigs have died and 294 pigs have been infected since May 16.

An official from Tamwe Market in Tamwe Township in Rangoon, told Mizzima that despite the ban, the price of pork in Rangoon had not changed.

The symptoms of the disease are exhaustion, high fever, loss of appetite and the colour of an infected pig’s ears turn blue. An infected pig with blue ear should be burned and buried in a deep pit, authorities said.

Although blue ear, pig plague and pig diarrhea diseases cannot spread to humans through consumption of an infected pig, the selling and transporting of infected pigs have been banned by the authorities.

The ban on carrying pigs and pork will be eased only after the spread of the disease is under control. The Rangoon Region relies on the Irrawaddy Region for pork, according to officials.

Meanwhile, in Pegu Region, authorities led by Pegu Region Chief Minister Nyan Win have launched a public awareness campaign and done prevention work in towns and surrounding rural areas. Pig farm owners are told how the virus spreads and how to prevent and control the disease.

The disease, which affects the reproductive organs and respiratory tract, was first found in Mandalay Division on 15 February. Later, it spread to Sagaing Region, Naypyitaw and Magway Region.

The animal husbandry department is trying to import medicine to treat the disease, and scientists from foreign countries have arrived in Burma to produce the medicine here, according to the department in Naypyitaw.

The blue ear pig virus was first detected in the US in 1987 and was found in Germany, Spain, Netherlands, France, England and Canada during 1990-1995. In Asia, the virus was found in China in 2006, Viet Nam and Philippines in 2007, and Thailand in 2008. It was reported in Mandalay in early February.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on blue ear disease or PRRS by clicking here.