Hundreds of chickens in Prey Veng province’s Svay Anthor district have allegedly died from unknown causes over the past week, spurring uninformed local authorities into action.
Chicken farmer Le Saroun said yesterday that more than 100 of his chickens had died.
“I fed the chickens to sell at Chinese New Year, but they kept dying. Other villagers’ chickens have died too,” he said, adding the chickens showed no signs of illness before dropping dead.
Mr Saroun said he and the other villagers did not bury the dead chickens as the Health Ministry had prescribed to do when chickens or ducks died. Instead, they threw them into a canal.
“Other villagers told me the disease will not go away if we bury the chickens so I decided to throw them into the canal,” he said.
Damrey Poun commune chief Nun Sophy said he was not aware that so many chickens had died.
“Several chickens died and some cows were sick from foot and mouth disease which often happens in hot weather,” he said, adding the dead chickens came from big poultry farms.
Mr Sophy said he would ask villagers to take him to the scene where the chickens had died.
Nhek Khem Nora, deputy director of the provincial health department, said yesterday he had yet to receive information about this case and would check with officials from the communicable disease department.
Officials from the provincial department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries also said they were unaware of the dead birds and requested that villagers report any sick or dead chickens to expert officials so it could be properly investigated.
On January 9, three chickens in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district were found to be carrying the H5N1 virus.
The Agriculture Ministry ordered local authorities to take action to prevent the movement of birds from a three-kilometre area.
After finding the new case of H5N1, local authorities culled nearly 300 chickens and ducks.
In late December, H5N1 spread to Kampong Thom province’s Stoung district following an outbreak in Kampong Cham province, but it did not infect any villagers.
According to a report from the communicable disease control department, between 2005 and 2014, 56 people were infected by the disease, leading to 37 deaths.