Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Svay Rieng bans VN pig imports

Svay Rieng bans VN pig imports

Svay Rieng bans VN pig imports

THE provincial governor of Svay Rieng province has banned all imports of pork and live pigs from Vietnam, fearing they carry serious diseases that could severely damage the local pig industry through contamination, as well as negatively harm the health of consumers.

Svay Rieng provincial Governor Chheang Am issued a statement on May 4 instructing all relevant authorities, including those operating border checkpoints, to “immediately cease all imports of pork and live pigs” from Vietnam, in order to prevent a potential “epidemic” of various diseases.

“Agriculture officials reported that there are pig diseases occurring in neighbouring countries, so the authority decided to ban their pigs until the situation is better,” he said
Thursday, and added that outbreaks of two diseases – foot-and-mouth disease and porcine respiratory and repro-

ductive syndrome (PRRD) – had recently been detected in Vietnam.

Sek Vanny, deputy director of the Drug and Food Office at the Svay Rieng Health Department, said the ban had been imposed in part because Vietnamese pig-raisers had been deliberately and illegally dumping diseased pigs on the Cambodian market at cheap prices to get rid of the animals.

“If we cannot stop them, they will still import [the diseased pigs], which will transmit the disease to local pigs. And when people eat it, it will affect their health,” he said.

He added that, because the diseased Vietnamese pigs are relatively cheap, Cambodian villagers would continue to buy them unless all corridors through which they are illegally imported were blocked.

Nguyen Chi Dzung, a counsellor from the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh, said Thursday that he had heard no information of any disease outbreak in Tay Ninh, the Vietnamese province that borders Svay Rieng, but confirmed that such outbreaks had occurred in the past.

“In Vietnam, it’s [happened] many times – in the north, in the middle and the south,” he said. He later pointed to Vietnamese media reports on recent “epidemics” of foot-and-mouth-disease and PRRD, or blue ear, in north and south Vietnam, respectively.

He said it was well within the rights of local officials to ban Vietnamese pigs they consider contaminated by disease, though he said the ban should be lifted “when the situation no longer exists”.

This is not the first time disease-ridden pigs from neighbouring countries have allegedly been dumped on the Cambodian market, according to Curtis Hundley, chief of party at the USAID’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) economic development project, which helps develop local agriculture.

“This is the same thing that happened in 2007, and they were importing hundreds, if not thousands of pigs a day. At that time they had blue ear, gastrointestinal and foot-and-mouth,” he said.

The 2007 outbreak occurred in Vietnam and Thailand, countries that export major quantities of pigs into Cambodia, and prompted Prime Minister Hun Sen to ban all imports of pigs from both countries for a period of eight months, a move that was applauded by the Cambodian Pig Raisers Association.

Srun Pov, the deputy president of the association, said Wednesday that about 600 Vietnamese pigs, many of them carrying diseases, were being illegally smuggled into Cambodia every day, and called for a nationwide ban.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY VONG SOKHENG

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on