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Step up fight against panda disease: Experts (4)

By HUANG ZHILING (China Daily)

13:45, November 14, 2012

Canine distemper, which can kill dogs and other members of the canine family, can also infect pandas. It is difficult to cure, and strenuous preventive efforts are being made.

Several institutions housing pandas, in China and abroad, have used vaccines from a distemper gene produced in the United States.

"Results so far show it's a safe and effective vaccine," Zhang Zhihe said. "But it's very difficult to import vaccines from abroad, as they are biological products, and the Chinese government has control over them. Authorities need to do more to assist us to solve the problem."

Due to greater efficiency in panda breeding, the number of overseas panda exhibitions has increased. But at some overseas zoos, pandas suffer from health problems, with experts saying more care is needed when selecting zoos for "panda diplomacy" projects.

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