Thailand to restrict movement of cattle and buffaloes amid animal skin disease outbreak

BANGKOK, May 23 (Reuters) – Thailand has ordered strict controls on the movement of cattle and buffalo after an outbreak of a virus that causes lumps to form on animals’ skin and can reduce milk production, a government official said on Sunday.

The rarely fatal disease, which does not affect people and is believed to be spread by flies or mosquitoes, is new to Thailand and has already infected more than 6,700 cows and buffaloes in 35 provinces across the country, according to the deputy spokeswoman for the government, Traisulee Traisaranakul. .

“The prime minister is concerned about the smuggling of cattle and buffaloes from neighboring countries, which is a significant factor in the spread of the disease, as well as unauthorized internal movement,” Traisulee said.

She said animals should only be moved when necessary, in accordance with guidelines from the Livestock Development Department.

According to official livestock registration data, there are 6.2 million beef cattle, 707,000 dairy cattle and 1.2 million buffaloes in Thailand.

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Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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