The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) today called for an immediate halt to the import of live cattle from Thailand following reports of an outbreak of a skin disease that has so far affected more than 6,000 animals in the kingdom.
It cited a local report which said the disease, known as the lumpy skin disease, had affected over 6,700 cows and buffaloes in 35 provinces.
“The disease is characterised by fever, enlarged superficial lymph nodes and multiple nodules on the skin and mucous membranes.
“Even though the disease does not affect humans, lumpy skin disease is one of the significant reasons for banning meat export in Europe and the US,” it said in a statement.
Noting the upcoming Aidiladha or Hari Raya Korban celebration, CAP said the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia should put an immediate halt to all imports of cattle from Thailand due to the contagious nature of the disease.
It also urged the department to conduct an investigation to ensure that the disease has not already affected local animals.
“As Thailand is our neighboring country, the disease can be easily transmitted as it is spread through mosquitoes, flies and ticks,” it said.
It added that the disease would cause severe production loss to dairy and beef farms, while farmers would suffer heavy losses due to the cost of management and treatment.