Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pact aims to stamp out H5N1

Pact aims to stamp out H5N1

Pact aims to stamp out H5N1

090108_5.jpg
090108_5.jpg

Govt signs agreement with Vietnam to monitor animal cargo at border in effort to curb the spread of the virus and boost livestock trade, officials say

Photo by:

TRACEY SHELTON

A new MoU to regulate the transport of live animals and birds – like the ducks pictured above – has been signed.

CAMBODIAN and Vietnamese government officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding last week to inspect all animal cargo crossing their shared border, said a local government official three weeks after the eighth reported human case of bird flu struck the Kingdom. 

A 19-year-old man in Kandal province was infected with the H5N1 virus last December. It was the only confirmed infection in the country last year, and was nonfatal - unlike the seven prior cases diagnosed in Cambodia.

The agreement, signed by the agriculture ministries of Cambodia and Vietnam on December 29, stipulates the construction of 11 inspection facilities along the border to separate the flow of animal cargo and humans, who primarily contract bird flu through contact with nasal secretions, saliva or faeces from an infected bird.

Kao Phal, director of the Animal Health and Production Department, said the ministry also requested training in veterinary expertise and the laboratory research required to detect the deadly virus. H5N1 has claimed nearly 250 lives around the globe since 2003, according to the World Health Organisation.

"The agreement will help curb the disease from spreading from animal to animal and from animals to people," Kao Phal said.

Regulations to boost trade

Sok Sina, an independent economist, said the agreement would improve livelihoods on both sides of the border by cutting down on the virus's threat to humans and the animals they rely on for food and business. 

Such enhanced regulations will "boost Cambodian entrepreneurialism in produce", he added.

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said more than US$900 million worth of goods were traded between the countries in the first 11 months of last year, adding that he hoped annual totals would climb to $2 billion by 2010. 

A number of programs to educate rural Cambodians about the deadly virus have been launched in recent years, including the "market forums" started last year by the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation and the Agriculture Ministry to educate poultry vendors on good sanitation practises. 

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman