A truck transporting 60 live pigs was impounded in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district for not having a health certificate issued by specialists tasked with controlling animal movement.

The pigs were identified as domestically raised but will be tested for Asian swine fever (ASF) and if found to be infected, they will be destroyed.

On the night of July 17, an intervention group from the General Department of Animal Health and Production under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries stopped the truck on National Road 2 in the district’s Chak Angre Krom commune without proper documentation issued by the department’s production and veterinary bureau.

The truck was making its way from Pansey Market in Khvav commune’s Svay Tong village in Takeo province’s Samrong district to the capital when it was pulled over. The intervention group sent evidence to the department’s quarantine facility for further action.

Tan Phanara, the director-general of animal health and production, told The Post on July 19 that although the pigs were domestic, they would still be tested for ASF.

He added that if the pigs test negative for ASF, the owner will not be fined but will be made to sign a letter promising not to repeat the offence before the animals are returned. But if the pigs test positive, they will be destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease.

“The owner transported the pigs without the paperwork and he did not know where they came from. After the specialists stopped him, they investigated where the pigs originated and discovered that the pigs were domestic,” he said.

Phanara called on all pig farmers and traders to obey the law and guidelines on pig transportation and ensure that animals have a health certificate issued by the provincial production and veterinary bureau to make sure that pigs are in good health and can be transported properly.

“This time was not a problem, authorities just instructed the owner to sign a letter. Next time, he has to have a health certificate issued by the provincial authorities so traders can see that the pigs are in good health,” he said.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral swine of all ages. If a pig is infected, it is destroyed. ASF cannot be transmitted to humans.

Based on the report of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2019, ASF spread to three districts in Cambodia, leading to the culling of nearly 3,000 pigs.

Phanara said Cambodia must effectively control domestic pig transportation and importation because Cambodia had experienced infection in the past resulting in a shortage of domestic pigs.