Nearly 100 cattle fell ill and died over the last two weeks in four communes in Svay Rieng province’s Chantrea district, officials said.

Chab Phearum, a veterinary official in Chantrea district, told The Post on Monday that a total of 94 cattle had fallen ill. Of the number, more than 50 had recovered and 17 others had died.

Phearum said specialists have contained the spread in a timely manner.

He said veterinary officials had attributed the illness and the death to pasteurellosis – a latent virus in live animals. The virus does not transmit to humans and the disease mostly appears during the rainy season.

“Pasteurellosis always happens every year to animals that were not vaccinated against it,” he said.

The cattle have fallen ill and died in 10 villages in four communes – Samrong, Tuol Sdei, Chantrea and Chres. After the case broke out, veterinary officials launched a campaign to treat and vaccinate cattle.

Phearum called on cattle owners to take care of them and not let the animals loose in the rain because the disease might recur. He urged them to have their cattle vaccinated against diseases.

“The district administration made a letter disseminating it to citizens in all villages and communes. Those cattle owners are required to monitor their animals’ health. Don’t let ill animals roam. They might disinfect the virus in cattle sheds and roads where theycross,” he said.

Sen Chanthy, the office head of livestock at the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Svay Rieng, said he had distributed medicine for treating and vaccinating the cattle two weeks ago.

“Our citizens’ awareness of taking care of their cattle remains limited. When animals fall ill, they don’t tie them for treatment. But they let them loose to fields, thereby transmitting the disease to other animals. They don’t vaccinate the cattle. But until now we have contained the spread,” he said.

He said officials will conduct further tests to determine if the cattle died from pasteurellosis.