KUCHING: The Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom today declared Kuching, Serian, Sri Aman, Miri and Limbang divisions as Foot and Mouth Disease Control Area.
These five named divisions are bordering Kalimantan Barat and Kalimantan Utara where active outbreaks of the disease are occurring in their cattle, buffalo, goat and sheep populations.
This declaration is made in order that the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak can impose and take all the necessary control measures to prevent the introduction of Foot and Mouth Disease into Sarawak.
The control measures being instituted include import ban on livestock and livestock products from Indonesia, monitoring and surveillance of livestock in the high-risk areas and conduct veterinary inspection at the entry points into Sarawak.
Foot and Mouth Disease is an acute and highly contagious viral infection of both domestic and wild cloven-hooved animals and these include cattle, buffalo, domesticated deer, goat, sheep, pigs as well as wild boar and deer.
The disease spreads from animal to animal via aerosols, nasal discharges and also from contaminated feeds, beddings and other fomites.
However, Foot and Mouth Disease is not a zoonotic disease and it is not a public health concern, as distinct from the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) affecting our young children caused by a different virus.
Sarawak is recognised as a Foot and Mouth Disease free zone without vaccination by the World Organisation for Animal Health since May 2004 and this freedom status is important for our international trade in livestock and livestock products and every effort must be made to prevent this disease entering Sarawak.
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