Blood tests on dead pigs have revealed that African swine fever (ASF) has spread to two other provinces, with cases found in Takeo province’s Angkor Borei district and Svay Rieng province’s Svay Chrum district.
Outbreaks of ASF had previously been found in the eastern areas of Ratanakkiri and Tbong Khmum provinces.
Tan Phannara, the director of the General Department of Animal Health and Production, told The Post on Monday that he had not obtained specific information regarding the outbreaks of ASF in Takeo and Svay Rieng provinces.
There was no evidence that ASF would spread to other provinces, he said.
“The Ministry of Agriculture issued a letter informing Prime Minister Hun Sen that outbreaks of [ASF] have been found in Takeo and Svay Rieng provinces,” Phannara said.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sokhon issued two letters on Monday. The first informed of ASF outbreaks in Angkor Borei district and Ponlai district’s Ampil village in Takeo province.
The second informed of an outbreak in Russey Chuo Khang Tbong village in Svay Chrum district’s Kraol Kor commune in Svay Rieng province.
However, they did not mention a cause for the outbreaks in the two provinces or the number of pigs that had died as a result.
ASF was first discovered in Cambodia on March 22, in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Chum and O’Yadav districts, after it spread over the border from Vietnam. More than 2,140 pigs either died or were culled as a result.
The virus spread to Tbong Khmum province, with three pigs dying on June 23.
Nheb Sron, the director of the Takeo provincial agricultural department, told The Post on Monday that pigs began dying in Angkor Borei district last Monday.
“The results of blood tests on 27 pigs in Ponlai district’s Ampil village showed they died from ASF. Another 50 pigs in a number of villages in Prey Phkoam commune died, but we cannot confirm whether this was from ASF."
“We have carried out control measures. For example, from Monday to Friday last week, provincial, district and village level veterinarians sprayed disinfectant at every house in Ampil village,” Sron said.
He declined to speculate how pigs in southern Takeo province had contracted ASF. He said the province had not imported pigs from Vietnam since January, and Angkor Borei district is some 30km from the Vietnamese border.
Takeo only imported pigs from other Cambodian provinces, such as Kampong Speu and Kandal, he said, adding that some had been taken to Phnom Penh from Takeo province.
Thach Rotana, the director of the Svay Rieng provincial agriculture department, declined to comment, saying he was in a meeting.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries last Tuesday temporarily banned the buying, selling and transporting of all pork products originating from O’Reang-ou district’s Mien commune in Tbong Khmum province.
The ministry said that while there is no cure for ASF, it cannot infect humans.
Tbong Khmum provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Heng Piseth said that as of Monday, 32 pigs had died from ASF in the province in Kampong Serei and Soy villages. The virus had not spread to other areas, he said.
“Nothing has happened in other villages. It is very quiet,” Piseth said.
Phannara said the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries is to take action to prevent the spread of ASF in Takeo and Svay Rieng provinces, with measures similar to those taken in Tbong Khmum and Ratanakkiri.