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Blue-ear Pig Disease Outbreak Confirmed
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An outbreak of blue-ear pig disease outbreak has been confirmed in north China's Shanxi Province, but the local government said it has been contained.

The outbreak in a pig farm in Liulin county, Liuliang city, affected 262 pigs, killing 182, according to the Shanxi animal disease control and prevention headquarters.

The infected pigs were culled and the farm was disinfected, according to the headquarters.

The highly pathogenic disease, also known as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, is characterized by reproductive failure in sows and respiratory problems of piglets and growing pigs. It occurs in most major pig-producing areas throughout the world.

The disease has infected 165,144 pigs in 25 Chinese provinces, of which 45,546 died and 42,728 were culled by July 22, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

The disease is regarded as a key factor leading to the sharp rise of pork prices in many major Chinese cities this year.

According to the MOA, about 80 million vaccines has been administered to curb the spread of the pig disease by July 25. The ministry has allocated 10.8 million yuan (US$1.43 million) to finance vaccinations in affected areas.

(Xinhua News Agency July 31, 2007)

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