KUCHING, June 15: Following the declaration that Kuching, Serian, Sri Aman, Miri and Limbang are now livestock foot-and-mouth disease control areas, there will also be an import ban on livestock and livestock products from Indonesia.
The Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi who made the declaration said these five named divisions border Kalimantan Barat and Kalimantan Utara where active outbreaks of the disease are occurring among their cattle, buffalo, goat and sheep populations.
“This declaration is made in order that the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak can impose and take all the necessary control measures to prevent the introduction of foot-and-mouth disease which affects livestock into Sarawak.
“The control measures being instituted include import ban on livestock and livestock products from Indonesia, monitoring and surveillance of livestock in the high-risk areas and conduct veterinary inspection at the entry points into Sarawak,” said Dr Rundi in a press statement today.
He explained that the disease is an acute and highly contagious viral infection of both domestic and wild cloven-hoofed animals and these include cattle, buffalo, domesticated deer, goat, sheep, pigs as well as wild boar and deer.
The disease spreads from animal to animal via aerosols, nasal discharges and also from contaminated feeds, beddings and other fomites.
“However, livestock foot-and-mouth disease is not a zoonotic disease and it is not a public health concern, as distinct from the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) affecting our young children caused by a different virus,” Dr Rundi pointed out.
He said Sarawak is recognised as a livestock foot-and-mouth disease free zone without vaccination by the World Organization for Animal Health since May 2004 and this freedom status is important for our international trade in livestock and livestock products and every effort must be made to prevent this disease entering Sarawak. — DayakDaily