The lumpy skin disease (LSD) vaccination working group has vaccinated about 3,000 cattle since the campaign started throughout the country in late August, according to Animal Health and Production director-general Tan Phannara.

Phannara told The Post on September 5 that of the 20,000 vaccines purchased from Vietnam, about 17,000 remained after they were distributed nationwide.

“As the number of vaccines is limited, the working group must use them sparingly. It is necessary to administer shots to cattle carefully, not injecting all cattle at once. We vaccinate cattle around outbreak areas to prevent transmission,” he said.

Phannara said the ministry is in negotiations with South Africa to procure more LSD vaccines as soon as possible for widespread use in the country and to prevent the spread of the disease in a timely manner. Negotiations are nearly complete.

According to a report released by the Animal Health and Production General Directorate on August 31, the disease was first detected in early June in Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey provinces, then spread to other provinces. As of August 29, there were nearly 39,000 infected cows in 158 districts in the capital and provinces, it said.

The report added that 21,439 cows, or 55 per cent, were cured; 16,951 cows were under treatment, and 375 died. Most of the deaths were calves.

According to Phannara, there are 984,420 cows in Cambodia that are vulnerable to LSD. The disease has severely affected farmers’ income, especially as it has coincids with the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to a report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), LSD was first reported in 1929 in Serbia and spread to Africa, then to the Middle East, Europe, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, South Asia and China. It has caused severe damage to farming communities, livestock and the national economy.

In the latest LSD outbreaks, China had an outbreak in July 2019 that continued to April 2021 in 47 places. In Vietnam, the outbreak started in October 2020 to April 2021 in 41 places, and nine outbreaks took place in Laos from late May to July 2021, FAO said.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Thailand has had outbreaks of the disease since March until July in 184 places, especially in provinces bordering Cambodia, such as Trat, Chanthaburi, Sa Kaeo, Buriram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani..