Ministry urges calm in ASF scare

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Pigs are seen in a piggery at a village near Warsaw April 10, 2014. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

As the African Swine Fever sparks concerns in China and the northern parts of Vietnam, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has urged for calm as there are no cases of the disease in the Kingdom.

Tan Phannara, director of the ministry’s animal health and production department, yesterday said cases of AFS in China and Vietnam prompted farmers to kill their pigs.

Mr Phannara said despite no cases of AFS in Cambodia, the ministry is taking precaution by inspecting pigs brought in from across the border. He said the ministry has also sent letters to the Commerce, Interior, and Finance Ministries to help prevent the illegal import of pigs.

“Recently after the disease spread in Vietnam, the ministry issued a directive to properly check animal health certificates along the border and the animals themselves,” he said. “We also run another check when pigs are about to be slaughtered.”

Mr Phannara added the ministry has also issued a statement urging three out of four companies in charge of importing pigs from Vietnam, to switch to Thai suppliers due to fear of infection.

“I’m concerned about pork products, such as sausages, that are imported by some tourists. That’s difficult to check because sausages are not livestock,” he said.

“When [infected] livestock are imported to our country, it is possible for the disease to spread to other animals,” Mr Phannara added.

Ly Sovann, director of the Communicable Disease Control Department, yesterday said ASF first broke out in several African countries and that it spread to parts of Asia.

Mr Sovann said “people should not eat pork from sick pigs, which can transmit disease”.

Senator Mong Reththy, who is also the owner of one of Cambodia’s largest pig farms, said business owners must pay attention to what they are feeding their pigs.

“I call on all pig farmers to prevent this risk from increasing,” Mr Reththy said. “If it happens in your area, please do not hide the information. Do not sell the meat at a local market.”

Last week, the ministry said in its ASF directive that it is caused by a virus that can stay dormant within pork products and that there is yet to be a vaccine.

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