The Agriculture Ministry has launched a lumpy skin disease vaccination campaign for cattle starting with priority provinces after more than 30,000 animals have contracted the disease, an official said.
The ministry’s animal health director, Tan Phannara, said the goal was to vaccinate between 70 and 80 percent of the country’s 3 million cows and buffaloes to eliminate the disease’s spread.
Lumpy skin disease is a viral infection that causes nodules up to 5 cm wide on the skin of cattle, according to Australian authorities. Less than 10 percent of infected animals typically die, but dairy cows produce less milk, and cattle can suffer depression and anorexia, they say.
Phannara said the disease appears to have been spreading between animals grazing in the same fields, and more than 30,000 cows and buffaloes in the country had so far been infected.
Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Tbong Khmum had seen high infection rates, and would be initially targeted in the vaccination campaign, he said.
Some 20,000 doses had been purchased from Vietnam, and a further 40,000 doses could be procured from South Africa next week, he said.
“If their animals have been infected with the disease, they have to report to the nearest authorities including the village chief, commune chief and village veterinarian to help. Please do not treat this in the traditional way, where some people give coconut water to their animals to drink, which is wrong,” Phannara said.
He added that cattle that have recovered from the disease will not need to be vaccinated.
Vey Sokneang, a farmer in Kandal province’s Mok Kampoul district, said 10 of his cows had contracted the disease.
“Once cattle are infected with lumpy skin disease, it affects the skin and meat quality with red spots, which is not good for consumption,” he said, welcoming the vaccination campaign.
Sokneang said he hoped the campaign would reach his area soon.
“We have to inject everywhere in order for the disease to completely disappear,” the farmer said.
(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)