Nearly half of Vietnam is now affected by foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), a second whammy on a farm sector already hit hard by bird flu. The Asia-1 strain virus has spread to 30 of Vietnam's 64 provinces and cities in recent weeks, reports TodayOnline.
"Poultry flocks have been decimated and now you see an outbreak affecting cattle, pigs and buffalos. It's another blow to the ag sector, UN Food and Ag Organization livestock specialist Jeffrey Gilbert tells AFP. Bird flu has claimed 42 lives in Vietnam, the world's highest human death toll, and badly affected the country's poultry sector.
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese government has set an FMD eradication target date of 2010, reports the Vietnam News Agency. Nearly 10,000 buffalo and bulls, and more than 12,000 pigs in 183 communes and wards of 21 cities and provinces nationwide have been reported as infected with FMD. The country now has 8 million buffalos and bulls, and 23 million pigs. -- Joe Roybal