Monday, July 25, 2005

Thousands of Cambodia's cows hit by foot-and-month disease

PHNON PENH, July 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Thousands of Cambodian cattle and oxen have been hit by foot-and-month disease since the beginning of the rainy season, local newspaper The Cambodia Daily reported Monday.

The disease, which weakens adult animals and kills calves, has affected Kompong Chhnang and Kompong Thom provinces the most, Yim Voeunthan, Agriculture Ministry secretary of state was quoted as saying.

"There are more than 10,000 sick animals in Kompong Chhnang," he said. "This is a forest area and cows are easily infected from the water flowing from the forest."

Yim Voeunthan said that vaccines have been given to 1.5 millionoxen nationwide to control the spread of the disease.

"This year is the worst ever for this disease," Deputy Governorof Kompong Chhnang King Sarim said.

In developed countries, mass slaughter of infected cows is the recommended procedure, but Cambodians are too poor for this policy,the newspaper said.

Yim Voeunthan said that Cambodia cannot export cattle because foot-and-mouth disease is widespread in the country. Cow and buffaloes are the main livelihoods for many Cambodian farmers. Enditem

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