A senior official affirmed that pig imports from Vietnam have been absolutely banned and the 30 pigs caught in Svay Rieng province late last month will be destroyed if they are found to be infected with African swine fever (ASF).
In the early hours of June 28, an intervention team tasked with suppressing animal movement offences stopped a truck transporting the pigs on National Road 1 in Bak Ronoas village of Svay Rieng town’s Sangkhoar commune.
The pigs are being retained pending legal action.
Animal Health and Production director-general Tan Phanara told The Post on July 1 that test results on the 30 pigs were not yet available. If no ASF is detected, the owner will only be fined 10 to 15 million riel ($2,500 to $3,000). If the pigs are infected, the directorate will destroy them to prevent the virus spreading.
He added that all pig businesses were banned from importing the animals from Vietnam because the country has widespread infections of ASF although companies still requested that pigs be imported legally.
“Every pig that is imported from Vietnam is illegal. We will still tighten measures to prevent illegal imports because the risk of ASF is very high. If pigs are secretly imported from Vietnam to our country, it will destroy farmers’ and farm owners’ incomes,” he said, adding that there are also pigs imported covertly and illegally from Thailand.
Separately on the night of June 29, officers from the animal health and production bureau in Banteany Meanchey province worked in cooperation with Malai district Military Police to apprehend pig smugglers on the Thai border.
During the operation, five pigs were seized in O’Sralao village of Malai district’s O’Sralao commune. The pigs had been transported from Thailand to Cambodia through a corridor in the district without a permit. A total of 588 chickens were also seized, the animal health and production directorate said on June 30.
Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association president Srun Pov hailed the move, saying he was concerned about the risk of ASF infection.
He added that there is no vaccine for ASF. Once pigs are infected by flies or lice, they can transmit the disease to other pigs easily.
“ASF is very dangerous. There is no a medicine to protect and treat pigs. If it transmits to one pig in a cage, it will make all pigs in the cage dead. If there are 1,000 pigs, the 1,000 will die. This infection does not stop,” he said.
Back in 2019, Cambodia had an outbreak of the disease resulting in a shortage of pigs for domestic supply as thousands of infected pigs were culled, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.