Sabah all out to prevent foot-and-mouth disease from Indonesia
Published on: Saturday, May 21, 2022
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Kota Kinabalu: Sabah is taking every precaution to prevent any spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) from neighbouring Indonesia.

Deputy Chief Minster Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said Sabah has been declared FMD-free, a status recognised internationally by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) since 2005.

FMD is a highly contagious disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig.

“Sabah is currently already fighting African Swine Fever (ASF). The FMD must be avoided at all costs.

“As a result, the State Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry has taken urgent measures to make it mandatory for all veterinary offices throughout Sabah to carry out rigorous medical inspections on all types of livestock to be transported to other districts,” he said in a statement.

Jeffrey, who is also State Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, said his Ministry also requires that all livestock movement to other districts be documented using movement forms or certificates issued by the Sabah Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) with the livestock’s health condition properly and clearly stated.

The forms or certificates can be obtained from DVS’ district offices.

The Ministry also advised farmers to impose strict bio-security requirements on all livestock farms such as installing vehicle sprayer and quarantining foreign workers, particularly those from Indonesia, before allowing them to return to work. 

It also advocates for farm owners to prohibit outside visitors from entering their farms.

“At this time, do not bring in additional livestock or meat products supplied from neighbouring countries with FMD cases into your farms,” said Jeffrey.

Meanwhile, Sabah DVS Director Dr Normah Yusop urged breeders to be on the lookout for FMD symptoms in their livestock.

The disease is characterised by high fever that declines rapidly after two to three days, blisters inside the mouth that lead to excessive secretion of stringy or foamy saliva and drooling, and blisters on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness.

“If you notice any of these symptoms in your livestock, please contact DVS immediately. We need to contain this infection because it has the potential to wipe out our modest livestock industry,” she warned.

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