Pig deaths cost two officials their jobs

Feb. 11, 2009 at 11:18 AM

TAIYUAN, China, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The deaths of more than 1,000 pigs from blue-ear disease in China's Shanxi Province this year have cost two officials their jobs, authorities say.

A Hongtong County official said Zhang Mazhu, the director of the county's Animal Husbandry Center, and Wan'an Township Deputy Party Secretary Jia Changchun were removed from their posts due to mishandling of the crisis, China's official state-run Xinhua news agency said Wednesday.

The two were blamed for not implementing measures that would contain blue-ear disease in the county, the official said.

The deaths of up to 1,056 pigs have been blamed on blue-ear disease in Wan'an in 2009. Eighty percent of the pigs were less than a month old when they died.

Authorities have reacted to the disease, which can cause young pigs to suffer from respiratory tract illness, by providing vaccines for pigs and financial compensation for farmers.

Xinhua said that despite the spread of blue-ear disease in Wan'an no contaminated pork products had been found.

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