Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ASF spread ‘being monitored’

ASF spread ‘being monitored’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prey Veng provincial authorities spray disinfectant to prevent African swine fever. Photo supplied

ASF spread ‘being monitored’

A government animal health official is monitoring the possible spread of African swine fever into new provinces bordering Vietnam. This follows an outbreak in Ratanakkiri in March, which was hoped had been kept under control.

Ri Davin, the head of the Tbong Khmum provincial Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health and Production Office, told The Post on Wednesday that he hadn’t received formal confirmation that the disease had been detected in the province.

But he was made aware of a potential issue by email from General Directorate of Animal Health and Production director-general Tan Phannara, who suggested that other provinces may be affected.

“We saw Phannara come here about 10 days ago. He took blood tests in O’Reang-ou district, but the formal results have not been released."

“He sent an email saying he would update us later. So I am not sure whether African swine fever had broken out in my province."

“It already appeared in Ratanakkiri province, and his email suggested it might have been detected in one of the other border provinces – such as Tbong Khmum, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng and Takeo – but he is yet to clarify which province, ” Davin said.

However, he said Phannara had earlier in the month investigated reports of a few families whose pigs had died and said it was later heard that the pigs had been bought from O’Reang-ou district to Kampong Cham.

“For some time, we have held monthly district meetings, but no one reported any issues so we always informed the senior leadership that there is no problem,” he said.

The Post was unable to reach Phannara for comment on Thursday.

The first outbreak of African swine fever took hold on March 22 in O’Yadav district in Ratanakkiri province.

In April, the disease was detected in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Chum district, but a provincial official said there had been no further outbreaks since some 1,300 pigs were culled.

Ratanakkiri provincial Department of Agriculture director Soy Sona said on Thursday that officials had strictly forbidden bringing pigs into or out of O’Yadav or O’Chum districts or from Ratanakkiri to other provinces.

“We have banned them from importing and exporting pigs,” he said.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon issued a directive urging all departments to work with sub-national authorities at all levels to enforce a ban on the importing of pigs over the Vietnamese border.

It said that if any department failed to implement the directive, it will be held accountable by the ministry and subject to legal action.

However, Phannara recently said that pigs had still been secretly imported from Vietnam, especially into Tbong Khmum province.

Davin said that since the ministry’s ban, some 30 such cases had been busted in Tbong Khmum province involving nearly 700 pigs, but blood tests showed that none were infected with the African swine fever virus.

To prevent the disease spreading, the Prey Veng provincial Agriculture Department has sprayed some two tonnes of disinfectant since the beginning of May.

Department director Uk Samnang said on Wednesday that his team had sprayed the disinfectant at 1,086 pig farms, 110 slaughterhouses and in other locations involved with the transport of pigs.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a