Vietnam said on Friday (May 31) it has culled 2 million pigs in a bid to curb an outbreak of deadly African swine fever and called on the entire nation to join the fight against the rapidly spreading disease.
The virus had spread to 48 of the country's 63 provinces, agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said at a meeting of parliament, upping the number of pigs culled from 1.7 million less than a week ago.
Pork accounts for three-quarters of total meat consumption in Vietnam, a country of 95 million people where most of its 30 million farm-raised pigs are consumed domestically.
"This is an extremely dangerous disease ... and we have to take the fight seriously," Cuong said. "The whole political system has to get engaged in the fight."
Cuong also called on local consumers not to turn their back on pork consumption and encouraged businesses to stockpile pork in anticipation of shortages in the second half of the year.
"We shouldn't expand the pig herd at the moment, but instead, shift the focus on expanding cattle, poultry and aquaculture production," he added.