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Steps taken to fend off disease spread in cows
February 5, 2015, 8:35 am

Vice-Chairman of the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR), Chairman of the Federation of Dairy Producers in the country, Abdul Hakim Al-Ahmad announced that about 250 cows on two farms in Sulaibiya are infected with Lumpy Skin disease, reports Al-Seyassah daily. Al-Ahmad, simultaneously, affirmed that the situation is under control, where there are about 46 farms, where a large number of cows are milked and calves bred. This came after the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture issued a decision to ban the import of cattle from Kuwait because of the Lumpy Skin disease.

Al- Ahmad attributed the spread of the disease to the two neighboring agricultural company farms whose ponds are infested with mosquitoes and buffalos are bred next to cows. However, buffalos are known to withstand diseases but also known for spreading serious diseases. Al-Ahmad has called on PAAAFR to kill all the cows on the two farms until the disease is contained to preserve the livestock wealth in the country.

It has been reported about 20,000 cows on farms produce about 150 tons of fresh milk every day. Al-Ahmad said the procedures that have been taken by PAAAFR are correct. He added, the Saudi ban on the import of cows from Kuwait came due to the seriousness of the disease that can spread quickly, especially since the Kingdom has millions of cows which produce millions of gallons of milk every day.

Therefore the relevant authorities there had to take necessary measures to protect the animal wealth and adopt preventive measures through the implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the Ministry of Agriculture as saying the decision was based on a bulletin warning issued by the World Organization for Animal Health about the outbreak of Lumpy Skin among cows in Kuwait. Meanwhile Deputy Director-General for Animal Health, Animal Health Department, Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs & Fish Resources Hanadi Bastaki has assured that the disease may have infected a group of cows on two farms in Sulaibiya early last December, pointing out that PAAAFR has taken all precautionary measures to prevent the proliferation of the disease to cattle in other farms, by isolating infected cows and treating them with drugs and vaccines.

Bastaki explained some of the infected cows have recovered, while there are about 40 other that did not, so they were culled and their meat was disposed off under supervision of officials. Bastaki explained the two farms in Sulaibiya are not allowed to sell meat and milk, and PAAAFR will request OIE to lift the ban before the end of this month.

Bastaki pointed out the owners of culled cattle shall be compensated after obtaining the necessary approvals and that things are under control. She added only 40 cows in Kuwait out of the 20,000 are infected and this is not a big number. She also assured the consumers that there is no fear of drinking milk or eating beef in Kuwait.

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