Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministries urge safe handling of poultry to prevent bird flu spread

Ministries urge safe handling of poultry to prevent bird flu spread

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A poultry farm in Prek Pnov commune in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district. Heng Chivoan

Ministries urge safe handling of poultry to prevent bird flu spread

In preparation for the lunar new year this month, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have called for hygienic practices and sanitary inspections for the transportation of poultry and pigs to prevent the spread of any instances of bird flu.

Health minister Mam Bunheng issued a reminder to all people in Cambodia to protect themselves from contagious pathogens during the traditional gatherings.

“I would like to remind all people to be very careful about preventing the spread of bird flu. People should wash their hands frequently with soap and water before eating and after contact with poultry,” he said on January 29.

He added that people must not eat sick poultry or birds that died of illness and instead must avoid them and places where the virus is known to be circulating.

According to the health ministry, there are several strains of avian influenza that have circulated in the region, including H4N1, H5N6, H7N3, H7N7, H7N9 and H9N2 which are known to have infected humans. Outbreaks continue to occur periodically around the world, making bird flu a global public health concern.

Strains of bird flu viruses can be easily transmissible from animals to humans, and proper precautions are necessary to prevent infections when handling live poultry or butchered meat.

Bunheng also instructed provincial and local authorities to assign officials to monitor and guide hygienic practices and safety measures in markets, especially live-poultry ones.

“If someone is suspected of having been infected with bird flu or exhibits common symptoms such as fever over 38.5 degrees Celsius, coughing and shortness of breath, and has come in contact with sick or dead poultry during 14 days prior to showing symptoms, please call 115,” he said.

The agriculture ministry’s General Directorate of Animal Health and Production will distribute a circular from February 1 regarding improving hygiene in the transport of poultry and pigs during the lunar new year.

Director-general Tan Phannara told The Post that the transportation of animals across provinces and through the capital always increases during the lunar new year period, and the ministry steps up controls in response.

“We monitor animal health and bio security practices and spray disinfectant on vehicles used for transportation. We also implement strict practices related to the use of disinfectant at farms and conducting animal health inspections before transportation,” he said.

A group on social media platform Telegram was established to facilitate communication between expert officials in each province regarding inspections.

Phannara noted that there was not an ongoing outbreak of bird flu at this time and stressed the importance of proper hygienic procedures under all circumstances, particularly when butchering animals which should be done with gloves to prevent contamination.

The health ministry noted that the H5N1 strain was recently discovered in some birds in the country.

From 2005 to 2014, Cambodia recorded 56 cases of H5N1 infections in humans, leading to 37 deaths.


  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Struggling Battambang artist dreams of staging full-scale gallery exhibition

    Leav Kimchhoth, a 55-year-old artist from Battambang province, is a familiar face to locals and tourists alike on the streets of the riverside in Phnom Penh. The one-armed painter and illustrator often hawks his work near the night market on weekends and public holidays. He

  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • New Law on Taxation comes into effect

    Cambodia has enacted the eagerly-awaited new Law on Taxation, which aims to improve the national tax regime’s compliance with present and future international standards and economic conditions; encourage accountability, effectiveness and transparency in the collection process; and promote investment in the Kingdom. King Norodom

  • PM warns of int’l election interference

    With the national election scheduled to take place in less than two months, Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned foreign nations and their diplomats not to interfere into Cambodia’s domestic affairs. He also hinted that their statements on court verdicts handed down to any