Veterinarians in Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey provinces are treating more than 500 cattle for lumpy skin disease (LSD). Officials are also instructing farmers on how to prevent the spread of the disease.
Banteay Meanchey provincial General Department of Animal Health and Production director Huy Touch told The Post on June 29 that provincial veterinary officials were about to treat cattle in Kon Trey village, O’Chrou district’s Koup commune, and to follow up on LSD cases in other areas.
“In general, the disease is occurring in different places. If we treat it in one village, it jumps to another village, so we need to travel there to treat cattle,” he said.
According to Touch, LSD in the province has spread to O’Chrov, Thma Puok, Preah Netr Preah and Phnom Srok districts, where more than 200 infected cows have been treated and almost all have recovered.
He said there was no vaccine for LSD, but veterinarians could treat infections in the event of an outbreak.
Touch stated that treatment is not difficult if people report cases in time. But what is disturbing is when animals are infected, cattle brokers often appear and demand a low price for the animals. By scaring and cheating people, brokers are sold cheap cattle.
“Villagers lose when they are cheated. Suppose a cow normally costs 5 million riel. When it’s sick, the price comes down to only 700,000 or 800,000 riel. It’s a problem that affects the economy,” he said.
Oddar Meanchey provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director Soth Sisokheang said more than 300 cows were infected with LSD in Samrong town’s Anlong Veng and Bansay Reak districts. The cows have almost all been cured and in good condition.
“We have treated them. There are a few infections left, but just a few. However, we are afraid it will be transmitted by mosquitoes, moths and lice. The disease has spread from one animal to another because it is already in the herd and the people have let it spread, but now owners control cows by separating them,” he said.
The director of the department confirmed that veterinary officials have instructed people to use smoke to kill mosquitoes to prevent the spread of the disease.
But even with the protection of smoke, cattle can be infected when cows are grazing, especially when they are in herds. Veterinary officials have also advised people to report infections as soon as possible and treat cattle to prevent animals from becoming seriously ill and dying.
He confirmed that LSD occurs only in cattle and is not transmitted to humans. It occurs mostly in the rainy season with insects transmitting the disease.
Muth Ren, a resident of Bot Trang commune, Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district said he was concerned about the disease infecting his cattle, although it had not yet spread to the commune where he lived.
“I have contacted a specialist to get advice, even though my cows are not sick. However, it would be better if there was a vaccine,” he said.