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Japan donates farm animal vaccines

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
A group of veterinarians treating livestock. Supplied

Japan has donated 300,000 doses of foot-and-mouth vaccine for the battle against the disease that affects animals such as cows, buffaloes, pigs, sheep and goats.

The donation, worth $450,000, was signed off at a meeting of the World Organisation for Animal Health in Paris on Monday.

Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon, who is on a work mission in France, said on his official Facebook account that the vaccines would be flown to Cambodia soon.

Tep Bengthai, deputy director of animal health at the Agriculture Ministry, said the provision of foot-and-mouth disease vaccines by Japan was very important for Cambodia to protect cattle in the country.

It would help Cambodia to implement its strategic plan for the Mekong sub-region to fight foot-and-mouth disease, he said.

“These vaccines are for the strains of viruses that exist in the country,” he said. “Because the vaccine is expensive, our government can offer only a little each year.

“Therefore, this is an opportunity for us. The Government of Japan has offered this large additional number of vaccines, which we think could prevent the spread of the disease in the region that has occurred in previous years.”

Foot-and-mouth disease mostly affects animals with two toenails. It is a serious disease that spreads easily and can harm the economic development of countries in which it appears.

Mr Bengthai said Cambodia had about three million two-toenail animals but did not have enough vaccines to protect them all.

“We will use this vaccine provided by Japan in vulnerable areas, in which nearly 50 cases arose last year,” he said. “It will be used in all major areas across 25 provinces and the capital.”

Mr Sakhon has led a Cambodian delegation to the Organisation for Animal Health general session in France.

The agenda includes standardising documents relating to animal health and food, measures to prevent infectious diseases and the spread of diseases from animals to humans, and promotion of the meat trade based on recent scientific developments.

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