Siem Reap has received more than 60,000 doses of cattle vaccines and is preparing to administer them for the second time this year, according to provincial Animal Health and Production Bureau chief Prum Vich.

Vich called on farmers to follow the schedule set by their communes, which ensures that the animals are vaccinated twice a year.

He requested local authorities to inform cattle owners. If needed, village-commune authorities could gather the animals in one place and have veterinarians on site to administer the vaccines.

Vich said the participation of the whole community is necessary to promote the growth of animal production, which would in turn reduce poverty by boosting farmers’ incomes.

He said the jabs would protect the animals from various diseases, noting that widespread transmission could lead to huge financial losses.

“Getting your livestock vaccinated is important. If there is an outbreak, it could transmit as rapidly as Covid-19,” he said.

Vich said unvaccinated cattle are vulnerable to three specific diseases – Haemorrhagic septicaemia, foot and mouth disease (FMD) and a virus named Clostridial myositis. Any one of these diseases could kill a healthy animal.

He said that if an animal died from one of these diseases, it should not be eaten and should be buried immediately, and officials should also be notified.

Lat Sip, the chief of Tram Sasar commune in Srei Snam district, said the second round of vaccinations had not yet reached his commune, but he had already informed farmers to be ready to bring their cattle when the veterinary officials arrive.

He said most local farmers herd their cattle separately, so there was less risk of infection if an animal did get sick. He also said that people were increasingly aware of the precautions they should take to protect their animals.

Sip said that in the past, people raised cattle to pull carts and for farm work, but they had largely been supplanted by tractors. Generally, they are now raised for sale.