Svay Rieng province is facing an outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) and the provincial administration is applying every effort to manage and prevent its spread as it could adversely affect the local economy.

From June to August, more than one thousand infected animals were detected in seven districts. Authorities were concerned the disease could spread and cause large-scale outbreaks.

The provincial administration on August 30 issued a directive, stating that if emergency measures are implemented, an outbreak could be prevented and a serious impact on the local economy avoided.

“The provincial agriculture and information departments, Military Police, district governors and all relevant authorities must take measures to prevent the spread of LSD,” the directive said.

It said measures to be taken by the agriculture department include prevention and thorough, regular check-up on cattle and buffalo’s health throughout the province.

The department must also use bio security and hygiene checks at all livestock breeding sites, cattle gathering points and livestock markets. Strengthening livestock and animal product hygiene controls and raising awareness of LSD is also required.

The provincial administration also instructed the agriculture department and relevant authorities at border crossings to enforce inspections of all livestock, frozen semen and imported beef products, all of which must have a hygiene certificate from the exporting country.

Inspections must be supervised by animal health officials and vaccinations administered by veterinarians.

Provincial governor Men Vibol said LSD can live in dry skin for up to three months and in dirty cages for up to six months if there is not enough sunlight.

LSD causes small lumps on the animals’ skin around the neck and nose, and can cause their body temperature to rise up to 41 degrees Celsius.

It can cause scabies and ulcers in male animals, which can lead to infertility, and can cause females to miscarriage.

According to the directive, the disease can infect between five and 45 per cent of an animal herd and the death rate is less than 10 per cent. The virus can be passed from one animal to another through direct or indirect contact and by insects.

The agriculture ministry said on August 30 that LSD has infected more than 30,000 cattle and spread rapidly from the Thai border provinces to the central lowlands in Cambodia, especially Tbong Khmum, Kampong Cham and Prey Veng.

Tan Phannara, the government delegate in charge of the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production, told The Post on September 1 that 20,000 doses of cattle vaccine had been distributed to provincial capitals where the disease is endemic. Depending on the number of infections, each province could receive between 500 and 2,000 doses.

“We have allocated the 20,000 vaccines, which we bought urgently from Vietnam, to affected provinces or to other provinces based on the number of infections,” he said.

“Now the vaccines have been used up.”