More than 100 pigs were destroyed on April 1 after authorities in Stung Treng province stopped a truck transporting the animals last week and discovered they were infected with the African swine fever.
The pigs, which were imported from Thailand, were slaughtered by General Department of Animal Health and Production under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
On March 23, Stung Treng provincial police and agriculture ministry officials stopped the truck that was illegally transporting the pigs from Thailand via Laos and entered Cambodia through Stung Sreng provincial border.
Tan Pannara, head of the General Department of Animal Health and Production, said the pigs were banned from being sold and destroyed in Takeo province’s Bati district to avoid posing any risk to consumers or infecting local pigs.
“I’ve just destroyed all of the 102 pigs early today at Tamao Mountain. All the pigs were caught in Stung Treng province, no other place,” he said.
He added that his department also fined the traders 30 million riel ($7,400) for illegally importing the pigs.
“The general department and the ministry still prohibits illegal pig imports. This is the work of our expert officials. Illegal pig imports come with the risk of transmission,” he said.
In February, 30 pigs were also caught being illegally imported into Cambodia from Thailand through Banteay Meanchey province. All of the pigs were infected with the African swine fever and had to be destroyed.
Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association president Srun Pov praised the authorities’ timely efforts to prevent diseased pigs from entering the country and local markets. He said the fever was the most contagious disease which has no vaccine. The virus could be transmitted by flies.
“African swine fever is one of the most devastating disease. As I know, there is no vaccine or medicine to treat them.”
“If it transmits into our pigsties then all pigs in that cage will become sick and die. If 1,000 or 10,000 pigs are infected, all of them will die,” he said.
In 2019, Cambodia experienced an African swine fever outbreak which caused a shortage of local pigs after thousands of infected pigs were slaughtered, according to the agriculture ministry.