Foot and mouth disease, which has ravaged cattle in Vietnam since 2000, has spread to 30 provinces and the epidemic shows no signs of abating, officials and state-controlled media reported Wednesday.
Hoang Van Nam, deputy director of the Department of Animal Health, blamed the spread of the disease on inaction by local governments.
"Due to the local interests, some provinces delayed reporting outbreaks and that is one of the reasons the disease spreads," he said.
Nam cited an example where authorities in the northern province of Hung Yen just reported outbreaks to his department only this week, even though the first foot and mouth cases were detected in early April.
He said the disease has affected tens of thousands of cows, buffaloes and pigs throughout the country.
The Agriculture Ministry has urged local governments to immediately report new outbreaks to the ministry and it also ordered infected provinces to report daily on the situation, he said.
"The foot and mouth disease has shown no signs of abating and continued to spread to other provinces," the Labor newspaper quoted a report at a conference on the disease in Hanoi Tuesday as saying.
The paper quoted Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat as saying culling all in the infected animals was the best way to prevent the disease from spreading.
The newspaper reported that the disease was not new in Vietnam where it re-emerged in 1992 and ravaged cattle farms across the country since 2000.
More than 330,000 animals were infected in 58 out of Vietnam's 64 provinces in 2000.
The Ministry of Finance is working on a plan to compensate farmers whose animals have been destroyed as part of the culls, Nam said, reports the AP.
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