Cambodia curbs pig import on fear of disease transmission

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Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) is gradually cutting pig imports from neighboring countries to support local farmers and to prevent the spread of ASF and other diseases.

“We cannot stop importation immediately, so we will phase it out to protect our industry,” said MAG’s Animal Health and Production Director-General Tan Sovannara.

Mr Tan added about 200-300 heads of pigs are imported officially into Cambodia daily, but many illegal imports are also coming in. Concerns over disease spread rose because ASF has been detected in some imported pigs.

Cambodia authorities detected ASF in imported pigs.

At its peak, Cambodia imported 1000 pigs/day, while the local market requires about 8000 pigs/day.

Cambodia has completely banned live pig imports from Vietnam since May 2021 on fear of ASF transmission. Still, some illegal pig trafficking occurs at the borders of the two countries.

Meanwhile, official imports from Thailand are under strict quarantine, and the government has implemented stringent monitoring on the borders to prevent illegal imports.

Difficult competition

Despite the risks, many Cambodian traders are still interested in importing pigs from neighboring countries because of the price gap. This has affected the profitability of local producers, who are having trouble competing against cheaper imports.

Srun Pov, President of the Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association, said the country currently has a surplus of hogs because of imports. In turn, this has led to a price drop. He added that farmers cannot sell their pigs as traders cut back on their purchases.

For related stories, please see:
​Cambodia tightens pig transport control to prevent disease
Vietnam seeks to officially export pigs to Cambodia