The prevention of and fight against animal epidemic diseases will continue to be a pressing task in the fall, the Minister of Agriculture (MOA) Du Qinglin has warned.
Du said local governments must maintain a high alert against possible epidemics such as bird flu, pig cholera and rabies.
In some countries and regions, the foot-and-mouth disease had been "rather serious," Du said.
Within China, sick migratory birds, long-distance transport and the trade in live poultry and the outdoor rearing in remote mountain areas all posed challenges to disease prevention.
Du said human and animal cases of rabies and tuberculosis had been rising in some regions, posing "a major threat" to public health security.
He urged local veterinary departments to provide timely vaccinations to poultry breeders, to monitor the results and tighten control of the production, distribution and storage of vaccines.
Village observers, university veterinary laboratories and research institutes should earnestly fulfill their responsibilities and make timely reports on local disease outbreaks.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health revised a regulation requiring doctors and grass-root health organizations to report outbreaks within two hours of discovery.
Breeding farms, markets and border areas should be the prime targets of disease prevention. Once epidemic occurs beyond China's borders, isolation zones must be established immediately.
Local governments must step up the training of prevention skills, tighten the inspection of breeding farms and the transport and distribution of livestock to defuse possible risks, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 22, 2006)