About 100 cows in Siem Reap province’s Puok district have died from foot and mouth disease in recent weeks, potentially leaving local communities without enough animals for the upcoming dry season rice planting, local officials said yesterday.
Loh Lay, chief of Puok district’s Keo Poa commune, said about 100 cattle there had died from the disease since mid-September, amounting to a loss of 10 percent of the approximately 1,000 animals in the commune.
Mr Lay said about 600 cattle that had been infected had now slowly recovered.
“The most serious infection occurred at the end of September and early this month,” he said, adding that most animals that succumbed to the disease were cattle under three years old.
“Now, most of the cows are becoming better,” he said, adding his 10 cows and buffaloes had recovered after receiving medical injections or treatment with traditional medicine.
Mr Lay said he was concerned local villagers would now lack draft animals when they started planting their dry season rice.
“We are worried that we will lose more workforce because the dry season rice planting is approaching,” he said.
Mann Chem, director of Puok district’s agriculture office, said yesterday that 500 doses of vaccine had been used to cure sick cattle in the area.
“Now the disease is under control and the animals get better after being vaccinated,” Mr Chem said.
Sok Sakhan, a 51 year-old farmer in Keo Poa commune’s Thmei village, said he lost one of his four sick cows last week because of a foot and mouth infection.
Mr Sakhan said his animals became very sick, suffered blisters on their mouths and could no longer eat grass.
“One of my cows died a few days after getting sick,” he said, adding that the disease had spread fast, killing seven animals in his village. “I spent a lot of money on medicine for the animals,” he said.
Another foot and mouth disease outbreak erupted in Kompong Cham province’s Kang Meas district in recent weeks, killing hundreds of animals.