Prime Minister Hun Sen on Aug 13 ordered a ban on importing pigs and pork meat, citing concerns over the spread of disease and the need to develop local pig farming, according to a Council of Ministers statement received Aug 17.
“The Ministry of Interior must order authorities…to take immediate measures to stop importing pork and pigs,” the statement said, adding that the instruction applies to the ministries of Finance, Agriculture and Commerce as well as provincial and municipal authorities.
“Imported anarchy of pig disease can affect and spread throughout Cambodian pigs and can block pig farm development in Cambodia,” the statement said, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture “must confiscate or destroy [imported] pork or pigs” immediately.
Yim Pheang, a Finance Ministry customs director at the Chrey Thom international border checkpoint in Kandal province, said that his office had been ordered to strictly ban all pigs and pork coming in from Vietnam.
A manager for agricultural consultant and development company CP Cambodia Co, Ltd, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the prime minister’s order will not negatively affect meat suppliers and will encourage local pig farming.
Despite the loss of approximately 2,000 pigs imported daily from Thailand and Vietnam, “Cambodia will not lack the meat to supply to the markets,” he said.
On Aug 16 Agence France-Presse news service reported that in Vietnam, 26 people had been admitted to hospital in Hanoi with a bacterial infection from diseased pigs, leading to two confirmed human deaths.
Veng Thai, director of the Phnom Penh Municipal Health Department, said that it is important to use such a ban while other countries in the region are experiencing livestock diseases.
(Additional reporting by James Welsh)