BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
Since the outbreak of the pig disease called “Porcine Reproductive Respiratory Syndrome” (PRRS) occurring in Cambodia in recent weeks, the Royal Government of Cambodia is now working hard to combat the outbreak and the epidemics of the PRRSD disease and stop the import of all kind of the pigs and pork from neighboring countries across the borders into Cambodia.
Kao Phal, Director of Animal Health and Food Production Department (AHFPD) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries (MoAFF), said that PRRS disease is becoming a challenging and more concerned diseases for people in Cambodia.
To combat this PRRS disease, on August 12th, his authority has invited about 100 pig farm companies’ owners or representatives whom are the stakeholder and his provincial AHFPD officials to meeting at the AHFPD office in Phnom Penh in order to discuss how can they work to respond to the PRRS crisis and to help the farmers, he said.
The main objective of the meeting was to find measure and action to combat the PRRS disease which is the new pig disease happening and threatening peoples’ lives in Cambodia. It is also to discus how to find the solution and actions to prevent the disease as well as to help the farmers whose pigs are sick and have died by these diseases.
“The farmers are the feeders of animals or pigs and they are also the customers or buyers of the pig farm companies. And now if they cannot feed their pigs because of PRRS disease, how can the pig companies sell pork for them? Therefore, for the benefits both pig farms and local farmers, all pig farm companies should cooperate and help them how to prevent the disease,” he said during a meeting with a group of about 100 pig farm companies’ owners or representatives on August 12th in Phnom Penh.
He called on all stakeholders especially pig farm companies and pig depots to cooperate working closely with the government especially the Animal Health and Food Production in sharing information and pig treatment and in combating the PRRS disease in Cambodia. He also appealed all people to continue eat pork as normal because the PRRS disease does not affect people’s health.
Relating to the prevention of the classical swine fever and PRRS disease, Kao Phal said that to prevent the outbreak of the Porcine Reproductive Respiratory Syndrome for people in Cambodia, his authorities have recently issued an official announcement to stop the sale and import of sick pigs and pork products in Cambodia.
He stated that AHFPD and MoAFF have often convened its AHFPD experts about how to find measures and actions to combat pig disease as well as sending its animal health experts to meet the farmers where the outbreak of PRRS happened in cities and provinces in Cambodia to begin with.
On August 4th, the Royal Government of Cambodia signed by Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has issued an announcement on measure to prevent illegal pig’s importation into Cambodia. These announcements were made after the area investigation were done by the MoAFF and Health Ministry Officials following the exposure of many cases of the pig that suffered in many provinces in Cambodia in early August 2010.
“After receiving the announcement of the Government on measure to prevent illegal pigs import in Cambodia, the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries led by H.E. Dr. Chan Sarun has immediately convened its technical experts to tackle and finding solution to respond to the prevention of the disease,” he said.
According to the Government’s announcement, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen has ordered the Ministry of Interior to issue regulation to all provincial and municipal governors to strictly ban the import of pigs from neighboring countries; the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Ministry of Commerce must issue an order to their competent agents based at the borders to immediately stop importing of pigs and pork productions without license; the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries must take immediately and necessary actions and measures to combat the all kinds of outbreaks and epidemics of the pig disease; investigate and conduct research on pigs’ health, pig farms situations, and bio-security; and disseminating the diseases to the whole the people. The ministry must also pay attention and controlling on pig killings; hygiene of pork; confiscate and destroy all disease pigs or spoiled foods (pork) within efficient procedures.
Mr. Kim Norleak, General Manager of the C.P Cambodia Co., LTD which is one of the biggest pig farm company in Cambodia, said that since the outbreak of PRRS disease in Cambodia, his company’s pork sales as well as the farmers’ pig business under company’s control have been declined if compare with years when the disease has not occurred. He stated that so far, his company sold only between 60 to 70 pigs per day but now selling from 250 to 300 pigs per day as the disease is not happened in Cambodia.
“I am now very concern about my pig farm business since the outbreak of the pig disease has been occurring in Cambodia. I think that if it is still continued and if there is no immediate intervention and measure, it will be affected on the whole farmers’ pig feeding in Cambodia,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during an interview.
To prevent the pig disease, his company has been working hard in doing the bio-security and take care of his pig farms and his buyers in cities and provinces across the country, he said, adding that his company has also sent its technical pig experts to train the farmers whom they are his company’s customers and who have bought small pigs from his company to feed about how to take care and prevent the pig diseases.
There are over 4,000 pigs in his pig depots and pig farms in Cambodia, he noted.
Dr. Monivann Tan, Vice-President of Mong Rethy Group, said has supported Cambodian government in issuing announcement to stop import of pigs from neighboring countries.
He added that the governments announce will help the farmers to feed their pigs and animals for sales into Cambodian markets and to supply the buyers in Cambodia.
“I strongly support the government to stop the import of pigs from abroad into Cambodia. I think that this measure is good because it can to help to prevent the outbreak of the disease as well as to help our farmers to feed their pigs to earn money to support their families,” he said.
According to the AHFPD’s reports, Cambodia needs a total of 4,000 pigs for food per day but so far, Cambodia’s local pig farms can supply only 2,000 pigs per day in Cambodia. Therefore, it demands other 2,000 pigs from our neighboring countries to supply the lack of pigs in the country.