Following new reports of African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks in neighboring Vietnam, Cambodia remains in high alert over the spread of the virus, with the Ministry of Agriculture calling for stricter import checks.
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According to reports in Vietnamese media on Monday, new ASF cases have been reported in Vietnam’s southern and northern provinces over the past few weeks.
Tan Phanara, director general of the animal health and production department, said the news of fresh outbreaks in Vietnam have raised fears of spread in the Kingdom, particularly if the ban on pig imports is not properly implemented.
“The Ministry of Agriculture is asking local authorities to strictly implement the temporary bans on pig imports from Vietnam following reports that the virus has spread from the north to the south of the country, which shares a border with the Cambodian provinces of Takeo, Prey Veng, and Svay Rieng,” Mr Phanara said.
Despite the ban, illegal shipments of Vietnamese pig are still finding their way into the Kingdom, Mr Phanara said.
“First, we are asking authorities to be strict about this ban. Secondly, we would like to ask people living near the border to abstain from buying pork from unknown sources,” he said.
In a meeting yesterday with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon requested assistance and advice to prevent an AFS outbreak in Cambodia.
FAO and OIE experts are now in Cambodia to inspect local pigs for signs of the virus and provide advice to the government.
In April, a case of ASF was reported in Ratanakkiri province, which borders Vietnam. The Ministry of Agriculture ordered affected animals to be culled and banned moving pigs out of the province.
Srun Pov, president of the Cambodia Livestock Raiser Association, acknowledged the efforts of the government in preventing the spread of the disease.
“Given the ministry’s success dealing with the problem we, as pig raisers and consumers, would like to ask for even stricter controls at the border to prevent illegal imports,” Mr Pov said.