Request to lift live pig import ban from Vietnam rejected

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A Takeo province agriculture officer burns pigs with African Swine Fever from Vietnam. Takeo Department of Agriculture4

A request to lift the live pig import ban in Cambodia, put in place after an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Vietnam in 2019, has been rejected.

Tan Sophanara, director-general of Animal Health and Production, said Vietnamese traders recently sought permission to export live pigs to Cambodia once again.

“The Vietnamese chamber of commerce has sought talks on allowing the import of live pigs from Vietnam to Cambodia, but the proposal was rejected,” Sophanara told Khmer Times yesterday.

“We cannot allow it because the virus has been reportedly registered there,” he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture said measures to prevent illegal live pig imports from Vietnam have been successfully implemented, as no record of illegal imports have been made.

Live pig imports from Vietnam to Cambodia were made illegal due to an outbreak of ASF in 2019 to prevent the spread of ASF to Cambodian pigs.

Last week, the ministry asked local authorities in provinces along the border to strengthen the prevention of live pig imports from Vietnam.

Currently, Cambodia allows live pig imports from Thailand under strict health controls.

“We allow live pig imports from Thailand but all pigs have to be tested for the virus first before being allowed into the country,” Sophanara said.

The first detection of the virus in Cambodia led to the establishment of mobile laboratories to test pigs for ASF quickly.

In February, Cambodia detected ASF in live pigs imported from Thailand and since then more than 100 live pigs have been found with ASF and then culled.

According to Sophanara, the number of live pig imports from Thailand has sharply decreased due to a low demand for pork in the country in the period of Covid-19.

Currently, 600 to 1,000 pigs per day are imported from Thailand, decreasing from 3,000 pigs per day previously.

ASF does not harm humans but kills pigs and there is no vaccine or cure.