Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom monitors pig imports amid outbreak

Kingdom monitors pig imports amid outbreak

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
This file picture taken on August 10 shows piglets standing in a pen at a pig farm in Yiyang county, in China’s central Henan province. GREG BAKER/afp

Kingdom monitors pig imports amid outbreak

While African swine fever, a virus that affects pigs has broken out in China and seems to be spreading across the region, the Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association has urged the Ministry of Agriculture to monitor all animals imported from neighbouring countries.

The association’s director Srun Poav said China had already culled 38,000 infected pigs and the virus remains a concern for local smallholders and companies alike.

He said swine fever could easily spread to the Kingdom from Vietnam, which shares a border with that country.

“It is a major concern for our farmers. They are already suffering from lower pig supplies, and if this disease spreads to our country, the industry could collapse. The virus could kill all the pigs in the country within a week of its introduction in Cambodia,” he said.

The government officially allows 1,250 head of pigs to be imported from Vietnam each day. Poav claimed, however, that the actual number is often more than 2,000 per day.

According to reports, African swine fever has been detected in Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Finland, Romania, South Africa, Ukraine and Zambia.

China is the world’s largest pork producer and consumer. The first case of swine fever was reported in August in northeastern Liaoning province. The disease has since spread south prompting massive culls.

Thailand meeting

African swine fever does not affect humans but causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boars and is nearly always fatal. There is no antidote or vaccine, and the only known preventive measure is to cull infected livestock.

A three-day meeting was held earlier this week in Thailand by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Specialists on animal disease and agriculture policy makers from nine countries in Asia – Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam – met to discuss and coordinate an action plan to prevent the spread of swine fever.

Cambodian officials have maintained that the virus has yet to show up in the country.

Sen Sovann, the director of the general department of animal health and animal production at the Ministry of Agriculture, who joined the meeting in Thailand, told The Post on Thursday that African swine fever hasn’t hit either Thailand or Vietnam yet, and is being heavily monitored.

“We are now cooperating very closely with Thai and Vietnamese authorities to follow up and strictly monitor all imported products to their country."

“We will organise a workshop with our pig producers to help them understand about this virus and protect them. When it hits a pig farm, 100 per cent of infected pigs will die. It is a big concern for the whole industry,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian