What should we do to prevent an outbreak of African swine flu fever in Laos?
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has issued a notice banning the import of pork products, piglets and pigs from neighbouring countries, particularly China, to prevent a possible outbreak of the African swine fever virus in Laos.Vientiane Times sought local residents’ opinions on this vexed issue.


Mr Bounchan Phakhotama, a resident of Vientiane province:
I don’t know much about this issue, but I agree that the ban on importing pork from China to protect a possible virus outbreak is a good idea. I think, if possible, the authorities should suggest ways to the farmers, too, to protect their animals from the virus. There are many farmers who still do not have the relevant knowledge on the measures to take for the prevention of such outbreaks. Business owners or pig breeders should be dealt with strictly if found flouting the government’s orders. The authorities should step in to help deal with the shortage of pork and to keep the prices in check, or else consumers will have to bear the brunt.

Mr Chanthavone Keosouliya, a resident in Savanakhet province:
It’s a good idea that the authorities have issued a notice to prevent the outbreak of this deadly virus in our country. There are many diseases that affect animals in the winter season. Although we have vaccinations to keep some diseases in check, animals still fall sick and die. I have heard the African swine flu fever is spreading fast and can be contracted by humans too. So I think all sectors should work hard together and abide by the notice to make sure the virus does not spread. The authorities should also provide information on how to prevent spread of such viruses and impart training to farmers to bring down the animal mortality rate.

Ms Dokmai Phommaluexa, an official in Hadxaifong district:
I have heard news about the outbreak of the virus. It is extremely dangerous and there is no cure - death is certain in 90 percent of the cases, especially if spread to humans. To fight against this virus I think all sectors should pay heed to the notice. In addition, the relevant authorities should work together with pig breeders and farm owners in Vientiane and provinces that share a border with China. It would be good if farm owners are briefed about the virus adequately so that they are better equipped to save their pigs.

Mr Xou Chan, a farmer in Xaysomboun province: When I saw this news I thought it was a scary scenario. I have a small farm and I am worried about the pigs that are newborn and cannot be injected a vaccine. The virus is spreading fast and it is difficult to treat pigs once they are infected. I know that the authorities are working hard to prevent the spread. It would be better if everyone paid attention to preventing the spread of diseases in their animals. And we should report to the authorities whenever the animals get infected to ensure that there are no major further outbreaks.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update October 06, 2018)

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