Peshawar: The Livestock and Dairy Department has declared an emergency outbreak of various food-and-mouth diseases in cattle, goats and sheep across the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Authorities have declared it a provincial emergency, and have scheduled an extensive vaccination drive to commence in affected districts to curb the spread of the two viral diseases.
Devil’s In The Details: The outbreak has largely been centralized across 13 districts while 7 districts have been severely affected by PPR. The former is one of the most common contagious viral diseases amongst livestock in Pakistan. Samples were collected from Malakand, Peshawar, Hazara, Kohat and Bannu districts, which confirmed epidemic nature of the virus transmission and confirmed the incidence of the FMDs. The samples were tested at the FMD lab, situated in Peshawar.
Why It Matters: The current outbreak is expected to result in milk and meat shortages across the province, coupled with increased restrictions on the export of livestock and its value added products. Reports of an increasing animal mortality rate in the province are emerging across the various districts of the province and the Livestock and Dairy Department has advised minimal human contact with infected animals.
What’s Being Done: To curb the spread of the epidemic, the government has sanctioned PKR 550 million for the purchase and distribution of Russian-made vaccines, which are to be imported via an authorized dealer. Meanwhile, the authorities have advised an increased focus on hygiene and caution.
This is a developing story.