Ministry Lays Out Plan to Contain Pig Disease

Around 13,000 veterinarians across the country have been called on to inspect the transportation of pigs in response to the recent outbreak of “blue-ear pig disease” in Siem Reap province that has killed more than 1,000 animals, an official said Friday.

Lor Reaksmey, spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, said a proclamation was issued earlier this week detailing measures to prevent the disease from spreading. New cases continue to be detected, he said, contradicting claims made by Siem Reap governor Khim Bunsong on Tuesday that infections had been completely contained. 

“The Agriculture Ministry has about 13,000 veterinarians, covering every village in the country, to inspect the transportation and trading of pigs, to ensure the use of antibacterial spray and injection of pigs, to cure sick pigs and educate local people to participate in inspections until early October,” Mr. Reaksmey said.

“If we don’t take more measures, outbreaks and spreading can happen again,” he added.

In recent days, about 10 pigs have died of the disease in Siem Reap province, he said, while infections have also been detected in Kompong Cham and Svay Rieng provinces.

The prakas also requires people to inform the veterinarians if they plan to raise pigs in affected areas. The ministry released a statement on Tuesday banning the importation of pigs from other countries without its permission.

Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Kousoum Saroeuth said his officials have been inspecting pigs entering the province from both Thailand and Siem Reap since mid-August.

“We have to implement stricter inspections of those pigs after our provincial officials agreed to cooperate with animal health officials in other provinces and in Thailand,” Mr. Saroeuth said.

“I have instructed my officials to inspect the importing of pigs from Siem Reap province and if they find pigs entering, they have to ask the importers to take them back to have an antibacterial spray or injection,” he said.

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