World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) officials have declared Cambodia to be free of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRS). The report of Cambodia’s elimination of PRRS on pig farms came from Dr. Sen Sovann, OIE delegate and deputy secretary general of Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Phnom Penh on December 30, 2016.
History of Cambodian PRRS outbreak
In 2015, the Cambodian government called on 13,000 of the country’s veterinarians to help put a stop to the outbreaks of PRRS on pig farms, which began in mid-August, reported WATT AgNet. According to Phnom Penh Post, the early outbreaks in three districts of Siem Reap province in the northwest of the country killed at least 1,200 pigs and affected a further 3,000. A senior official at the country’s agriculture department told the newspaper the last outbreak in the country was in 2009. He added that as there is no vaccine, control of the spread will be achieved through education of farmers and better biosecurity on pig farms.
The PRRS virus does not affect humans but the outbreaks were reported to be hitting pork consumption, according to the Cambodian newspaper. Perhaps concerned by orders for farmers not to sell infected pig meat at markets, consumers opted for other meats.
During the annual festival of Pchum Ben, which is a time when families gather to honor their ancestors, pork is a popular meal. In 2015, the ministry promised to import pork, if necessary, to ensure adequate supplies for the festival at fair prices.