The recent outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in China has put the Kingdom’s authorities on alert, with Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday holding a workshop on the measures to be taken in order to keep the Kingdom free of the disease.
The workshop, which was jointly organised by food and livestock feed company CP Cambodia, was held two weeks after the Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association urged the Ministry of Agriculture to monitor all animals imported from neighbouring countries.
Soun Sothoeun, the deputy director-general of the General Department of Animal Health and Animal Production at the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the workshop was important for all pig raisers and relevant stakeholders because so far there is no method with which to treat the disease.
“Until now, no vaccines or medicine has been found to kill the disease, so any farms with infected pigs, all the pigs will have to be killed,” he said.
ASF, however, has yet to be found in Cambodia, according to Sothoeun.
“We are working closely with our neighbours. I would also request that all animal raisers and stakeholder associations work with the authorities in preventing the disease breaking out in Cambodia,” he said.
The measures to be taken to prevent the virus wreaking havoc on the industry include enforcing the law on entering and leaving farms, the prohibiting of the buying and selling of pork without a clear source and the cleaning of farms with antiseptic.
It is also recommended that farmers avoid feeding their pigs kitchen scraps and spray all vehicles with antiseptic before they enter and as they leave farms.
Pork products should not be brought onto farms.
China culled 38,000 infected pigs last month and the virus remains a concern for local smallholders and companies alike.
Srun Poav, the director of the Cambodian Livestock Raisers Association, told The Post last month that ASF could easily spread to the Kingdom from Vietnam, which shares a land border with China.
“It is a major concern for our farmers. They are already suffering from lower pig supplies, and if this disease spreads to Cambodia, the industry could collapse. The virus could kill all the pigs in the Kingdom within a week of its introduction,” he said.
The government officially allows 1,250 head of pigs to be imported from Vietnam per day. Poav claimed, however, that the true figure is often more than 2,000.