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Blue-Ear Pig Disease Under Control

The number of pigs infected and killed by the highly pathogenic blue-ear pig disease in China has declined markedly thanks to a domestically-developed vaccine, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) said Wednesday.

In the year to October 25, 992,000 pigs died from the disease while another 310,000 pigs survived infection. By contrast, 992,000 pigs were killed for the whole of last year out of 3.79 million that contracted the disease, said an MOA statement.

A total of 3,608 infected pigs were detected from October 1 to 25, down 87 percent from September, in 29 outbreaks, down 65 percent. The deaths amounted to 710, a drop of 91 percent from the previous month.

Almost one billion milliliters of vaccine has been distributed across the country, with few adverse reactions reported.

All vaccines put to market have passed compulsory safety tests. None of the pig farms where healthy pigs were vaccinated reported infections, said the statement.

Laboratory research and spot surveys revealed the vaccine, jointly developed by the Chinese Center for Animal Disease Control and Prevention and the China Institute of Veterinary Drug Control, was "safe, effective and has a protection rate of 88.2 percent", it said.

Vaccines with a protection rate lower than 80 percent were banned, it said.

Late last month, Chinese police arrested the producers of fake vaccines that had allegedly caused an outbreak of the disease, also known as as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, in central Hubei Province, which led to losses of almost one million yuan (US$133,690).

(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2007)

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