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Monday, August 02, 2010

Mystery Pig Deaths Spread Through Three Provinces

Animal health authorities are trying to learn what has killed nearly 200 pigs in three separate provinces.

An unknown number of pigs have died in the provinces of Battambang and Kampong Cham, while nearly 150 have perished in the southern province of Kampot.

Health officials said the disease appears to be bacterial, making an outbreak of H1N1, sometimes called swine flu, unlikely.

On Monday, officials began blood tests of pigs in Kampot, where the latest and most severe outbreak has occurred.

“On Saturday, we started the blood tests on seven pigs,” Kao Phal, director of the animal health department of the Ministry of Agriculture, said Monday. “But unitl now we do not know exactly the disease that happened to the pigs is.”

The animal health department is also appealing to farmers not to transport any pigs from their farms to market for the rest of the month of August, he said.
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No Cluster Munition Ban for Cambodia

Cambodia has not yet signed a cluster munition ban that went into effect Sunday. Thirty-seven countries have ratified the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.

“As a heavily cluster-bombed country, we are willing to become a party to the convention,” Prak Sokun, a secretary of state for the Council of Minister, told VOA Khmer last week. “But we have to consider thoroughly any impact to our national security.”

The cluster munition convention bans the production, use, transport or stockpiling of cluster munitions.

It was opened to states for signatures in 2008 in Oslo, Norway.

“Countries like Thailand and Vietnam have not signed it either,” said Prak Sokun, who is an adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen on landmine issues.
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