New Straits Times

Thailand ‘locks down’ cattle after lumpy skin disease outbreak



Thailand has imposed controls on cattle movement following an outbreak of the lumpy skin disease among cattle with thousands of cows and buffaloes affected.

According to media reports, the government yesterday said that more than 6,700 cows and buffaloes in 35 provinces were affected.

In one district in the north eastern Nakhon Phanom province, almost 500 cattle were reported to have been infected with the disease, which is occasional­ly fatal to animals.

The lumpy skin disease is caused by the Neethling virus that causes lumps to form on the animals’ skin and affects their milk production.

Infected cattle show symptoms such as drowsiness, drooling, loss of appetite and pustules on the skin.

It does not affect humans and is believed to be spread by flies, mosquitoes or ticks.

Local media said the outbreak began about three months ago, causing losses to farmers already affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is believed to be the first such case in Thailand.

Meanwhile according to the Bangkok Post, the Department of Livestock Developmen­t is seeking a vaccine for the lumpy skin disease.

Department director-general Sorravis Thaneto said they were contacting vaccine makers overseas to buy doses and import them.

He said department officials first detected the disease in Don Daeng village in Roi Et province’s Phanom Phrai district last month and it was reported to the World Organisati­on for Animal Health on April 9.

Sorravis said people should not worry about the disease as it could not be transmitte­d to humans and the department had also imposed disease control measures on all affected area.

The measures include informatio­n on recognisin­g symptoms in cattle and on how it spreads.

He said cattle breeders were required to monitor the condition of their animals.

Farmers, who have just taken in new cattle, are recommende­d to isolate them for 28 days and place nettings in the animal sheds and pens.

The livestock developmen­t department has also suggested spraying of insecticid­e to prevent insects from transmitti­ng the disease.

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