Expert veterinarians in Kampong Chhnang province are stepping up their campaign to vaccinate cattle against hemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) during the rainy season, even though no cases have been reported so far. This comes as an earnest move to protect the livestock in the region.

In the first week of August alone, more than 20,000 cattle were vaccinated. This consumed half of the 40,000 doses of the vaccine that the province has received from the government, indicating a concerted effort in the preventive measure.

Kreung Sam Ath, head of the animal health and production bureau of the provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, emphasised the urgency.

He told The Post: “Vets are trying to speed up the campaign amid increasing levels of water. Doing it early can prevent cattle from catching the disease”.

“I have just completed vaccinating that number of cattle, and we’ll have the total figures when our campaign finishes soon. Our teams are now heading to each district,” he continued.

In neighbouring Kampong Speu province, the situation is also being handled with care. Tep Vichet Mony, head of the provincial animal health and production bureau, informed The Post on August 7 that they had received more than 50,000 doses of vaccine for use in the province. Though he didn’t have the total figure for vaccinations, around 5,000 cattle were vaccinated in the first week of August.

“The vaccine is effective for six months. Therefore, after we complete our vaccination campaign this year, we’ll begin administering booster shots in six months’ time. We aim to vaccinate all the cattle in the province, but it might not be possible in some cases, such as with cattle that are afraid of strangers and run away,” he explained.

Vichet Mony noted that hemorrhagic septicaemia cases were rare, and only a few cattle had contracted the disease at different locations. He added that owners are often able to treat their cattle themselves, following expert instruction.

However, he did mention that around 3,000 cattle had fallen sick earlier in the year, and 50 of them died. But he confirmed that these deaths were not due to a disease breakout, attributing them to temperature, dangers, and issues related to feeding.

In Stung Treng province, the vaccination effort encountered some resistance as villagers were not very cooperative in bringing their cattle to get vaccinated, according to provincial animal health and production chief, Sieng Meng Hoang.

“We have tried to warn them that animals with swollen stomachs can die during the rainy season, but some people did not heed our advice. They simply allow their cattle to graze in the forests without concern. We feel regret for them,” he expressed, while also noting that there are some places where people have been cooperative.

He also said that expert officials are rounding up cattle for vaccination and urging local people to join the campaign in mid-August. The province has also received around 20,000 doses of cattle vaccine in an effort to safeguard the well-being of livestock in the region.