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Officials praise work on African Swine Fever containment

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
A worker sprays disinfectant at a pig farm in Kandal province. MOA

Provincial agriculture officials in ASF-hit areas yesterday said the situation is improving because officials have taken necessary steps to contain outbreaks.

Since early April, cases of African Swine Fever have hit the provinces of Ratanakiri, Tboung Khmum, Takeo, Kandal and Svay Rieng. The outbreaks resulted in the deaths of about 3,000 pigs.

Thach Ratana, director of the Svay Rieng provincial agriculture department, said the ASF situation in Svay Chrum district’s Kraol Kor commune is better now.

Mr Ratana said officials collaborated with locals to spray disinfectant and prevent the transport of pigs in and out of the area.

“Up until now, 95 pigs have died or been culled,” he said. “We have been spraying disinfectant in outbreak areas, surrounding areas within a three-kilometre radius and other areas along the Cambodia-Vietnam border.”

“In addition, we have also disseminated information to people so they can understand and monitor the situation,” Mr Ratana said.

Nheb Sron, director of the Takeo provincial agriculture department, said officials have also worked to contain the threat of the spread of ASF.

Mr Sron said officials cooperated with farmers in Angkor Borei district to cull all pigs infected by ASF.

“There were 111 pigs that fell sick and died in Ampil village,” he said. “We culled another 11 pigs in order to prevent ASF from spreading to other areas.”

Mr Sron said officials are in the district spraying disinfectant on cages. He said that raising pigs has also been suspended until the virus is eradicated.

“We have also been monitoring to prevent the transport of animals into the area,” he said. “We have not yet allowed citizens to raise pigs again, we have to wait until the virus is no longer detected.”

“It’s because the virus can stay in the soil or materials for up to 90 days,” he added. “So we have to wait for a ministry announcement resuming the raising of pigs. Then we will allow farmers to raise pigs again.”

Ol Dorin, head of Kandal’s animal health office, said officials successfully contained ASF in Sa’ang and Khsach Kandal districts.

However, he said up to 50 pigs still die on a daily basis.

“There are about 900 pigs that have either died or been culled, that’s 60 percent of more than 1,700 pigs in the areas hit,” Mr Dorin said. “Pigs continuously die because there is no medicine to treat ASF, nor vaccine to protect from ASF.”

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization in April, ASF poses no risk to human health, but the disease is a risk to pigs and wild boars because the virus could survive after animals are processed into meat products.

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