A BAN on pigs and pork imports from Vietnam is not likely to affect Takeo province, Governor Srey Ben said Sunday, and added that he has not been made aware of the health concerns that led his Svay Rieng counterpart to halt Vietnamese imports earlier this month.
“I have not yet received any notification from the Ministry of Agriculture about the banning of pork imported from neighbouring Vietnam,” Srey Ben said.
We just banned them in our country. Vietnam is their own business.
Governors and other officials from provinces bordering Vietnam were unavailable or unwilling to comment Sunday on whether they intended to impose similar bans, and officials at the Agriculture Ministry could not be reached.
Svay Rieng Governor Chheang Am issued a statement on May 4 instructing all relevant authorities, including those operating border checkpoints, to “immediately cease all imports of pork and live pigs” from Vietnam, in order to prevent a potential “epidemic” of diseases including foot-and-mouth disease and porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome (PRRD).
Last Thursday, he said both of those diseases had been detected in Vietnam. “So the authority decided to ban their pigs until the situation is better,” he said.
On Sunday, Chheang Am said he had imposed the ban on the advice of the Agriculture Ministry.
“I instituted the ban using the provincial framework, but the Ministry of Agriculture also gave me the advice to do so,” he said.
He added that he had not communicated with Vietnamese officials to alert them to the ban, nor had he taken steps to cooperate with them to curb the illegal importation of pigs. “We just banned them in our country. Vietnam is their own business; it’s not related to them,” he said.
Several outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have been reported in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam in the past few years. In 2007, Prime Minister Hun Sen imposed an eight-month ban on all Thai and Vietnamese pigs because of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth and PRRD, or blue ear.