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Livestock law near approval

Pigs at a Cambodian pig farm in 2011
Pigs at a Cambodian pig farm in 2011. A draft law on animal health and production is expected to be approved by the December 2015 Asean Economic Community deadline, government officials say. Heng Chivoan

Livestock law near approval

A draft law on animal health and production is expected to be approved by the December 2015 Asean Economic Community (AEC) deadline, government officials say.

Soun Sothoeun, deputy director of animal health and production at the Ministry of Agriculture, said on Friday that the new law had already been drawn up and is in the Council of Ministers.

“The law includes better management of livestock production and health, protections for consumer health and local breeds to ensure a sustainable livestock production in Cambodia,” he said.

“It is important that Cambodia adopt the law before AEC arrives as import tariffs will be lifted . . . and we improve the health regulations of livestock entering Cambodia.”

According to Sothoeun, a meeting to discuss and finalize the law will be held this week before being submitted to the Senate for review. But while the law nears final approval, top industry representatives say they have yet to be consulted on the proposed regulation.

Srun Pov, president of the Cambodian Pig Raising Association (CPRA), said he was not even aware of the draft law.

“It is good to have the law, but please make sure the law will help and encourage local raisers to raise the animals to the expected standard,” he said. “Don’t just come and close down their business when standards aren’t met. Please explain to us how to do it right.”

Pov said loosely monitored illegal imports of swine from neighbouring nations had contributed to the spread of disease in Cambodian livestock and rendered many local producers bankrupt.

Mong Reththy, president and CEO of Mong Reththy group, which owns a pig raising facility in Preah Sihanouk province, backed the call for improved regulation, but he also said he was yet to be consulted on the proposed law.

“I have long been supportive of the law being established, but they never make it,” he said.“It will regulate better the import of livestock from outside of the country. Health monitoring of livestock is still limited, causing high risk of infectious disease to our local livestock.”

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