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China to Increase Production of Blue-ear Pig Disease Vaccine
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China will increase the monthly production of blue-ear pig disease vaccine to 300 million milliliters in September from 250 million milliliters to meet nationwide demand, said an official with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) on Saturday.

The epidemic across the country had been under initial control by effective vaccines and prevention measures, said Vice Agriculture Minister Yin Chengjie.

He said the epidemic situation in regions along the Yangtze River had been relatively more serious because the disease is inducible under wet and warm conditions and the ministry had allocated sufficient vaccines to these areas.

By the end of August, more than 100 million pigs had been immunized, but the disease control situation remained grim because the breeding methods in some regions lagged behind other regions and long-distance pig deliveries were adding to the hidden trouble, he said.

The vice minister called on local veterinarians to step up disease control efforts and continue to carry out research on the disease. He also required transportation authorities to keep close watch on pig deliveries to prevent spread of the disease.

In July, about 47,000 pigs were infected by blue-ear pig disease, down 51.5 percent from the previous month. By Aug. 22, the disease had infected 257,000 pigs in 26 Chinese provinces, of which 68,000 died and 175,000 were destroyed, according to the MOA.

The highly pathogenic disease, also known as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, can be fatal for pigs, but the vaccinated pigs will no longer be infected by the disease.

(Xinhua News Agency September 2, 2007)

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