An unidentified disease has killed around 125 pigs in Kampot province’s Kompong Trach district in the past week while dozens of pigs in Battambang have died of another unknown illness over the past three weeks, local officials said yesterday.
Kompong Trach district governor Um Sinath said that the disease broke out on Wednesday but that nobody has yet been able to identify it or discover its origin.
“It’s a kind of disease but I’m not sure [what it is] because the expert officials are checking on it,” he said. “I’m waiting for the answer from the laboratory.”
Mr Sinath added that he was concerned about the situation but did not yet consider it an emergency.
Six communes were affected by the unknown disease during the last week of July, according to Nget Sophal, chief of Kompong Trach’s agriculture office.
“We are finding it difficult to identify this disease,” he said. “We’re investigating.”
In Battambang, dozens of pigs have died across three districts, with Mong Russei the most affected, according to Ponch Oudam, director of the provincial agriculture department.
Mr Oudam said that officials had ruled out blue ear disease, or porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, because the mysterious affliction could be cured in around five days.
He also ruled out the swine flu as a culprit, saying that the disease appeared to be bacterial in nature.
“We have brought samples to check in Phnom Penh,” he added. “I worry that this disease will spoil local pig production.”
Trai Bunlai, a veterinary specialist with the Cambodian Pig Raiser Association, said he could not draw any firm conclusions on the illnesses afflicting the pigs in Kampot and Battambang but suggested porcine respiratory disease complex was a possibility.
“In general, disease can be brought by [pig] transportation,” he said. “Pig traffic from one place to another place is dangerous because we don’t know what types of diseases those pigs carry.”