All diseased pigs in two villages in Tbong Khmum province must be destroyed to prevent the spread of the deadly African swine fever, Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon said on Tuesday.
The order, issued to the general department of animal health, said the villages of Kompong Serey and Soay, in O’Reang-ou district’s Mien commune, faced an outbreak of the disease that could lead to massive losses for pig farmers across the country.
The highly contagious disease — almost always fatal for pigs but harmless for people — is thought to have crossed the border from Vietnam, where more than 2.5 million hogs have been culled this year.
Ministry spokesman Chan Heng said there was no official figure yet for the number of hogs diseased or killed in Tbong Khmum.
Officers were killing pigs and spraying chemicals in the area, and banning hogs from being brought in or out, Heng said.
Pigs had also died in Takeo province’s Angkor Borey district, but blood tests for the animals had not yet returned, he added.
Srun Pov, president of the Cambodian Livestock Raisers Association, said the government had failed to prevent the import of diseased pigs from Vietnam despite knowing the risk to the industry.
“I strongly believe that it will spread more in Cambodia and we will not be able to prevent it because of the imports,” Pov said. “There is even the smuggling of the meat of diseased pigs.”
He claimed that border officials were colluding with traders in allowing pigs to continue to enter the country.
On May 30, Sakhon, the agriculture minister, issued a directive ordering all provincial agricultural departments to increase their vigilance and prevent pig imports from Vietnam.
Cambodian authorities have confirmed that the first case of African swine fever in Cambodia occurred in Ratanakkiri province in March this year.
(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)