Cattle transport ban lifted islandwide
The Department of Animal Production and Health has lifted its
temporary ban on cattle transport islandwide.
It has also re-introduced its artificial insemination program which
had been temporarily halted in the affected areas and informed the
public that milk collection centres were now fully operational. The
disease which infected 12,000 animals, resulted in the death of 250 head
of cattle and 250 swine.
“The disease is well under control. We have no reports of fresh
cases, except Mannar where there is only a mild outbreak“, Director
Animal Health, Department of Animal Production and Health, Dr A.
Sivsothy told the Sunday Observer.
He said the Department imported over 60,000 doses of vaccine from a
neighbouring country for the first time after several years to overcome
the present shortage of vaccines. This will be supplemented with 200,000
doses of locally produced vaccine as routinely only 50,000 doses are
dispensed per month.
The Health Ministry has also decided to call upon farmers to double
their vaccine doses per year.
“Instead of one dose per year, we have asked them to vaccine their
animals twice a year, which is a global requirement. Every farm animal
should be vaccinated three months after birth”, he said. Although the
ban has been lifted islandwide, he said that restrictions would be
imposed in any area where a suspected case of HFMD was reported. “If
confirmed, the local veterinary doctor will promptly close the slaughter
houses in the area, stop the transport of livestock animals, and stop
collecting milk in such areas.
“This disease cannot be transmitted to humans, and the public need
not panic. It affects mostly farmers due to the economic costs
involved”, he said.