x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Plague scare farm animals immunised at RAK livestock market

More than 13,000 sheep and goats have been immunised against plague at the Ras Al Khaimah livestock market.

More than 13,000 sheep and goats have been immunised against plague at the Ras Al Khaimah livestock market.

The Ministry of Environment and Water made the move after 130 sheep suspected of having a form of the infection were reported dead last week.

A team of 20 vets, assisted by market staff, conducted the immunisation. Small ruminants' plague, also known as PPR, requires only one immunisation during the life of an animal.

"The ministry has undertaken the immunisations as a precautionary measure after the death of 130 sheep that were bought from the same market last year," Dr Mariam Al Shanasi, the ministry's under secretary for technical affairs, told The National's Arabic-language sister paper,Al Ittihad.

Last week, a livestock owner from Sharjah said on radio that she suspected the death of 130 of her sheep might have been caused by a PPR infection. This prompted the ministry to investigate but no local or federal authority has yet confirmed or denied the woman's claim.

"PPR can easily infect livestock, and it does so all over the world," Dr Al Shanasi said, adding that the situation in other emirates is "stable" and does not call for an immunisation campaign.

"There are no reports about infections or animal deaths that would require taking a similar step," she said.

newsdesk@thenational.ae