Roundup: Indonesia begins vaccination against livestock foot-and-mouth disease

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 15, 2022
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by Dames Alexander Sinaga

JAKARTA, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia has launched a vaccination campaign against the re-emergence of the deadly foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) on livestock across the country.

The highly contagious viral disease among cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, pigs and goats has spread across 181 municipalities after it was initially found in the province of East Java in late April.

As one of the world's worst animal plagues, FMD spreads by direct contact with animals, animal products, by mechanical transfer via fomites and by the airborne route. The disease is characterized by blisters or sores around the mouth, muzzle, feet and teats, a tendency to lie down, as well as lethargy or depression.

On Tuesday, the Indonesian Agriculture Ministry began the FMD vaccination campaign in Sidoarjo, East Java, one of the worst affected areas of the outbreak.

At present, authorities were using vaccines imported from France while still developing their own vaccines to overcome the crisis. At least 10,000 doses of FMD vaccines arrived in Indonesia on Sunday.

"At the first stage, we are prioritizing vaccinating healthy livestock animals in the red and yellow zones, which are most seriously hit by the disease, due to the limited availability of vaccines," the ministry's director-general of livestock and animal health Nasrullah told local media.

To date, more than 150,000 animals are reportedly infected with the disease and at least 760 animals have died due to the disease, according to the official data from the National FMD Task Force.

More than 41,000 animals have recovered so far as authorities have deployed thousands of veterinary paramedics and distributed medicines, antibiotics, vitamins, immune boosters as well as disinfecting agents to the livestock farmers.

According to Nasrullah, those animals having recovered from FMD will not immediately be vaccinated as they already have immunity against the virus. He called on livestock farmers to persistently practice biosecurity to stop the spread of the virus.

Prior to this outbreak, Indonesia had been free of FMD since 1986, a status recognized internationally by the World Organization for Animal Health in 1990.

Next month Muslims across Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim population, will celebrate Eid al-Adha festival, during which people gather in front of mosques to watch as cattle and goats are killed as sacrificial animals. The meat is then distributed to the poor to celebrate the Islamic day of sacrifice.

The Agriculture Ministry has repeatedly emphasized that the meat of animals infected with FMD is safe to eat and there will be more than sufficient cattle supply for the festive day. A spokesman of the ministry Kuntoro Boga Andri said that the number of sacrificial animals to be distributed to the public this year amounted to 2.2 million, which would be more than needed.

Andri also highlighted that the livestock animals to be sacrificed will come from areas free from FMD outbreaks or green zones.

He added that the animals will be distributed by land and sea transportation with strict procedures amid restrictions on the mobilization of livestock animals across the country since last month. Enditem

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