Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said in a statement Friday that the incurable virus was found in a single pig imported from a farm in Guangdong province in mainland China, where the monthslong outbreak has devastated herds.
Concerns about the spread of African swine fever to the U.S. recently led organisers to cancel the World Pork Expo scheduled for June in the state of Iowa.
He also asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to work with ministries, agencies, and provincial authorities to purchase and slaughter pigs for cold storage to balance the pork supply during the remaining months of this year.
Pork accounts for three-quarters of the total meat consumption in Vietnam, a country of 95 million people, where most of its 30 million farm-raised pigs are consumed domestically.
Many provinces had failed to detect outbreaks and cull infected pigs properly due to the lack of funds and space required for burying the dead pigs, the government said on Monday.
Visitors arriving from Hong Kong and Macau already have their luggage checked for African swine fever with the same thoroughness as those from China, officials said Saturday (May 11). Since the first instances of the virus came to light in China in 2018, the epidemic has spread through the entire country, as well to neighbouring Mongolia and Cambodia, besides Vietnam, the report said.
Looking at other areas, North Korea would be a black spot because it was unlikely to tell the outside world if African swine fever had erupted, but if it did, then concern would grow about South Korea, according to the COA.