A senior agriculture ministry official has called on livestock farmers to be ready to save animals and take action to prevent the spread of animal diseases this rainy season, especially those living in areas along the rivers, lakes and creeks which are vulnerable to flooding.
Tan Pannara, head of the ministry’s General Department of Animal Health and Production, said that during the rainy season some areas along the banks of rivers and other bodies of water are frequently flooded, which could lead to outbreaks of disease among animals.
"Farmers should be prepared to prevent and rescue animals from floods and stop the spread of communicable diseases by having nearby places of safety and the means for rescuing animals and bringing them there. The locations should be prepared in advance with enough food and water for the animals and be kept clean. The animals' health should be monitored regularly and they must avoid letting animals roam freely in the fields," he said.
He said that in case there were any sick animals, they should separate them from the others and report to the village animal health agency or the nearest local authorities or veterinary officials to intervene, diagnose and treat them in time.
Pannara also noted that farmers could contact municipal and provincial departments about cases of infected animals.
In recent months, there have been reports in several provinces in northwestern and southeastern Cambodia of haemorrhagic septicaemia and lumpy skin disease (LSD) causing 35 cattle to die.
However, livestock officials in each province launched an inspection and vaccination campaign for farmers’ cattle earlier at the start of August.
Sev Linh, a 45-year-old farmer in Chey Uddom commune of Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat district, told The Post that the Srepok River's waters had receded but his village continued to keep their animals in their safe places out of fear of flooding occurring again this year.
"All of the villagers’ cattle in the safe spot have been vaccinated by the village veterinary team to prevent infectious diseases," he said.
According to Linh, tying cattle up in a barn is not traditional among his Tampuan people, but due to the flooding they decided to put them in the barn at the designated safe location.
"After the flood, my six buffaloes are now thinner because there is not enough grass yet to feed them," said Linh.