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Over 1,200 livestock infected with foot and mouth disease slaughtered

By M.ZOLJARGAL

Foot and mouth disease broke out in Naran soum in Sukhbaatar Province in early February and has already spread to nine soums in three neighboring provinces. As of Monday, 1,218 out of 1,309 infected livestock have been slaughtered.
Remote districts of Ulaanbaatar including Baganuur, Bagakhangai, Nalaikh, Bayanzurkh, Khan-Uul and Songinokhairkhan are being monitored to prevent foot and mouth disease spreading to Ulaanbaatar.
Livestock and livestock derivative raw materials such as hide, leather, wool and cashmere shipments from provinces were prohibited from entering Ulaanbaatar. No livestock product based events such as exhibitions, fairs or competitions will be held in the city until the disease has been completely eliminated, according to a new decree by the Ulaanbaatar Mayor.
Livestock in the city will be vaccinated once vaccine reserve is enough, reported the Ulaanbaatar City Special Commission.
The following is an interview with T.Baatar, physician of Veterinary and Animal Breeding Agency in Ulaanbaatar, about vaccine reserve, how far the disease has spread and compensation for slaughtered livestock.
-How much compensation will be provided to herders per livestock slaughtered due to foot and mouth disease? When do you think the compensations will be given?
-The Elimination Commission is registering age and sex of livestock before eliminating. According to concerning laws, soum governors will evaluate the total financial loss of each herder and the state will compensate 90 percent of the evaluated loss amount. Quarantine will stop 21 days after the slaughter of the last infected livestock and the state will compensate within 30 days after the quarantine is stopped.
-Local news agencies have been reporting shortage of vaccine against foot and mouth disease. Has Mongolia purchased more vaccines from abroad yet? What is the situation with the current vaccine reserve?
-We are using vaccines made in Russia. We have vaccines for 1,500,000 livestock right now.
-Is it not possible to domestically produce vaccines against foot and mouth disease?
-Bio-Combination state agency does not produce vaccines against the disease. Manufacturing this vaccine is very risky. Mongolia is not yet able to produce the vaccine against foot and mouth disease as it requires advanced technologies. Storing the foot and mouth disease virus and experimenting after the production must be done in fully prepared condition with the highest level of safety.
-Why do you think that the eastern region provinces were infected with the disease? Did foot and mouth disease virus, which were eliminated a few years ago in Mongolia, recur? What are the possible causes of the disease outbreak?
-We haven’t yet confirmed the origin of the diseases, outbreak date and genetic similarity of the virus compared to other viruses. Therefore, we have sent a virus sample to the World Influenza Center in England and another laboratory in Russia. The results will be available in a month. We believe that the main carrier of the disease could be antelopes. Where the disease came from and its origin will become certain once the results are ready.
-Is it likely that the disease will spread further to other provinces?
-We are sure that the vaccines will prevent further spreading. However, it is too early to dub as foot and mouth disease virus become more active during cold seasons. We are doing everything we can to prevent further spreading.

Estimated losses caused by foot and mouth disease outbreak increase

The government issued a resolution to prevent the spread of the current foot and mouth disease outbreak in two eastern provinces and one province in the Gobi.
Officials initially reported that the estimated budget to stop and control the infectious disease in Sukhbaatar Province would be over 900 million MNT. But so far, four billion MNT from the state budget has already been spent only on vaccines and cleanings.
Six neighboring high-risk provinces have 4.9 million livestock requiring vaccination. At least twice the originally estimated number of livestock vaccines, cleaning substances, needles, test tubes and syringes will be required. Since January 27, when the foot and mouth disease was first reported, 846 emergency workers have been working on control and management. Additional funding for the provinces dedicated to inspecting livestock, maintaining the quarantines and culling infected livestock are required. The financial impact also includes the salaries of emergency workers and damages to herders.
This kind of foot and mouth disease can spread within a very short time across vast territory and from country to country. Domestic pets and wild animals are also susceptible to infection.

Sainshand-Zamyn Uud bus service launch postponed due to foot and mouth disease

A bus service between Sainshand and Zamyn-Uud in Dornogovi Province was scheduled to launch on Monday but was postponed due to foot and mouth disease outbreak in Sainshand soum.
The soum is currently under quarantine and vehicles are prohibited in the area. The rescheduling hasn’t been announced yet.
The bus service will expand its route and operate between Ulaanbaatar and Sainshand in the future. Preparation work is currently underway.

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