Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday urged the public not to be afraid of consuming pork since health officials have already confirmed that African Swine Fever cannot be transmitted to humans.
Mr Hun Sen said that following outbreaks of ASF in Cambodia, many people became worried and dared not consume pork, leading to complaints from pork sellers that business has been badly affected.
He noted that the consumption of pork has no impact on human health, especially since pork sold in the markets are properly checked.
“I would like to appeal to our people to consume pork, do not be concerned,” Mr Hun Sen said. “I also eat pork every day. The doctors have already confirmed that there is no transmission from animal to humans.”
He added that ASF is prevalent in just a few areas and pigs from there are prohibited from being transported outside.
Mr Hun Sen noted that if people continued to boycott eating pork, the price of beef and fish would increase and pose another challenge in the Kingdom.
“It is also the closed fishing season now so there is a shortage of fish and now citizens do not consume pork,” he said. “So this will cause a hike in beef and fish prices.”
Mr Hun Sen also appealed to the people to pity the pig farmers who are struggling to make a living by raising the animals for sale.
Since early April, ASF has hit Ratanakiri, Tboung Khmum, Takeo, Kandal and Svay Rieng provinces, where about 3,000 pigs have died from the disease or been culled.
Chhay Mouykeang, a resident in Chamkar Mon district, yesterday said that her family had stopped eating pork for a while over concerns that they may accidently buy meat containing the ASF virus.
“I have seen the information about the ASF outbreak, so I am afraid and dare not eat [pork],” she said. “But after hearing Samdech Techo’s [Hun Sen] statement, I will eat pork again.”
“I hope that the relevant institutions will prevent the disease from spreading further so that people are not worried about ASF,” Ms Mouykeang added.
The Health Ministry’s Communicable Disease Control Department deputy director Yi Seng Doeurn recently confirmed that ASF is only spread among pigs and does not affect humans.
“Both the World Health Organisation and World Organisation for Animal Health have confirmed that ASF is not among diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans,” he said. “So the disease only affects pigs and not humans.”