Specialists from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ General Department of Animal Health and Production on Monday took blood samples from about 2,100 chickens to test for infectious diseases after they were imported illegally from Thailand into Banteay Meanchey province on Saturday.
General Department of Animal Health and Production deputy director Hun Sarath told The Post on Monday that the chickens had been illegally transported in a van from Thailand through the “five corridor” area in O’Chrov district’s O’Beichoan commune.
He said department officials, in collaboration with the provincial Department of Agriculture and National Police officers, had carried out the crackdown.
The chickens and the van were seized as evidence, Sarath said, and were being held temporarily at the General Department of Animal Health and Production.
He said the driver and passengers were not detained, despite them having no legal documents.
“Our specialists have drawn blood samples from the chickens to be tested for infectious diseases at our General Department of Animal Health and Production laboratory.
“If we don’t find any diseases, the owner of the chickens will still be subject to a fine of 10 to15 million riel [$2,500-$3,750]. If the chickens are found to have infectious diseases, they will be culled.
“And if it established that the owner knew the chickens were infected and still imported them, he will be charged under Article 115 of the Law on Animal Health and Production and face two to five years in prison and fines of 10 to 50 million riel,” Sarath said.
Banteay Meanchey provincial General Department of Animal Health and Production director Huy Touch told The Post that illegally transporting animals across the border was a regular occurrence despite specialists collaborating with relevant institutions in the province to conduct a series of crackdowns.
“In the first 10 months of this year, our specialist police have cracked down on several cases, culled 8,031kg of animals and fined offenders a total of 65 million riel,” he said.
Touch said there were up to 56 corridors near the Cambodia-Thailand border.
“It’s complex. In some areas, there are thick and remote forests far from the local police administration station. Offenders often illegally import meat and live animals into Cambodia through the corridors,” Touch said.