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Ministry clears up reports of illegally imported pigs

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Agriculture Ministry yesterday confirmed that no pigs have been illegally imported from Vietnam into Svay Rieng province recently, setting the record straight after local media reports claimed otherwise amid rising fears of African Swine Fever.

Earlier this week, several media publications reported illegal imports of pigs from Vietnam, despite the fact that the Agriculture Ministry has banned imports from the neighbouring country to prevent any further spread of ASF.

Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon said that he assigned a working team to investigate the case upon receiving the reports and confirmed that there has been no imports of pigs from Vietnam.

“Earlier this week, a secretary of state from the ministry collaborated with local authorities to inspect along the border areas of Romeas Hek district,” he said. “There has been no transportation of pigs from outside [Vietnam] to stock at locations in the district.”

“Officials also did not find any sick pigs. There was only CP Company farm in the area, which has sold all of its pigs,” he added.

Mr Sakhon noted that CP Company had permission issued by the Agriculture Ministry to raise pigs. The farm this year raised 14,387 pigs, which had all been sold in stages since July.

Thach Ratana, Svay Rieng provincial agriculture department director, yesterday said that no pigs have been imported from Vietnam into the region. He also confirmed that the area is home to the CP Company farm, which had been raising pigs legally since 2016.

“The farm is situated more than 10 kilometres from the border of Vietnam, which may lead to citizens’ confusion, due to the activities of the transportation of pigs in the area, and thinking that they were transported from Vietnam,” he said. “But in fact, the pigs were raised by CP Company with legal permission from the ministry.”

He added that experts continue to monitor the spread of ASF in Svay Chrum district’s Kraol Kor commune, including by spraying antiseptic, as well as educating and disseminating information to farmers of preventative measure and sanitation.

“Until now, 91 pigs have died, including 24 that were culled, due to ASF,” Mr Ratana said. “So we continue to monitor and implement preventative measures in outbreak areas and border areas between Cambodia and Vietnam.”

According to the Agriculture Ministry, ASF has spread to five provinces across the Kingdom since April, including Ratanakiri, Tboung Khmum, Takeo, Kandal and Svay Rieng, resulting in about 3,000 pigs that have gotten sick, died and culled.

Tan Phannara, director of the ministry’s Animal Health and Production Department, yesterday could not be reached for comment on the update of ASF in the five provinces.

However, he recently confirmed that over the past six months, the ministry’s intervention groups and authorities in the capital and provinces have cracked down on 55 cases of pig imports from neighbouring countries, which amounted to nearly 1,500 pigs. He noted that those imports were not found of having ASF.

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