Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foot-and-mouth 'swell' confirmed in Rattanakkiri

Foot-and-mouth 'swell' confirmed in Rattanakkiri

Foot-and-mouth 'swell' confirmed in Rattanakkiri

Atop government official has described the recent incidence of foot-and-mouth disease

in Rattanakkiri province as a "swell" rather than an outbreak.

Local media reported last week that nearly 10,000 cows and buffalo in Rattanakkiri

had been affected by foot-and-mouth disease, and that 60 calves had died from the


It was not clear whether the 10,000 estimate, attributed to the Ministry of Agriculture,

Forestry and Fisheries in an October 25 newspaper article, referred to mature animals

infected by, or exposed to, the virus.

Regardless, Yim Voeunthan, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, told

the Post on November 3 that those figures were wildly inaccurate.

Voeunthan said he received a report on November 3 from ministry officials who traveled

to Rattanakkiri on October 25 to investigate reports of the disease and treat the

infected animals. He said that the findings showed that the virus had killed seven

cows and infected 1,190 cows and buffalo in two districts between October 8 and October


"[Aside from the cows that perished], officials reached the animals in time

and treated them," Voeunthan said, adding that many animals had already recovered.

Voeunthan was unable to compare the recent occurrence of foot-and-mouth in Rattanakkiri

to past episodes, and he acknowledged that baseline information is virtually nonexistent.

"It's very difficult to compare between years," he said.

Foot-and-mouth is a highly contagious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals

including cattle, water buffalo, and pigs. Researchers agree that the virus is endemic

throughout Southeast Asia. Though not fatal for mature animals, it causes painful

sores, low milk production and miscarriages, - all of which cause serious production


In 2001, a foot-and-mouth outbreak in Britain led to the forced culling of nearly

four million sheep and cattle. In Cambodia, where many cows and buffalo are beasts

of burden, a foot-and-mouth outbreak translates into major difficulties in the cultivation

and harvest of rice and other crops.

The disease does not pose a serious threat to humans.

Confusion over the scope of the recent episode of Rattanakkiri underscores the difficulty

of disease surveillance in Cambodia.

Livestock experts say access to timely and accurate information is not readily available

to many veterinarians and farmers in rural areas, making it difficult to accurately

diagnose and treat foot-and-mouth.


  • Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

    A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony. On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • New airport study set for 2019

    A feasibility study on the construction of a new airport in the Kingdom will be launched later this year, according to a Ministry of Tourism spokesman on Monday. The plan was approved last week in a meeting held by the Ministry of Economy and Finance