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Scores of cattle come down with foot-and-mouth disease, 34 die

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A veterinarian administers medical treatment to a cow in Siem Reap province on November 11. siem reap informaton department

Scores of cattle come down with foot-and-mouth disease, 34 die

Officials said foot-and-mouth disease has affected 707cattle in Siem Reap province, causing 34 deaths, and 1,645 cattle in Pailin province.

Siem Reap provincial Animal Health and Production office chief Prum Vich said 400 cattle were treated for the disease between November 13 and 15.

“The dead animals are calves of cows that have foot-and-mouth disease. The rest are being treated,” he said.

Veterinary officers have been administering vaccines to cattle, but not all can be vaccinated as farmers often take them to graze in remote areas.

“Usually the vaccination is not enough because the people take the cows to feed in remote areas, near the foothills. People in the lowlands bring their cattle to be vaccinated, but those living in the foothills or farms rarely vaccinate their cattle, so it causes disease,” he said.

According to Vich, the disease mostly affects calves and is not fatal for adult cattle. Calves that contract the disease develop sores on their mouths and legs and lose their ability to eat properly.

Say Sophat, the director of the Pailin provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said over 1,000 cattle in a flooded area in Sala Krao district have likely contracted the disease. They are being treated by veterinarians.

“Some cattle have contracted an illness in the flooded area of Sala Krao district. These animals are weak. We’ve assigned veterinary officers to treat and take care of them. The next step is to vaccinate them,” he said.

On November 11, Pailin provincial governor Phan Chan Thol monitored the treatment of the cattle and distributed books on animal care and disease prevention to locals.

According to a provincial agriculture department report, Pailin is home to 16,666 cows, 150 sheep, 495 goats and 26,478 pigs. Out of the 1,645 sick cows, 1,490 have recovered, it said.

Khieu Sothon, the Pailin provincial Production and Veterinary Office head, said the recent surge in sick cattle did not represent an outbreak.

“In Pailin, it spreads continuously. One got sick and spread to several other cattle. Then it increased to four and then 10. Four among the sick cattle in Sala Krao district died. They were calves. The owner did not take care of them well and did not know the symptoms of the disease,” he said.

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