Infected Animals in Rodrigues Will Be Slaughtered
In the aftermath of the spread of the infection known as ‘foot-and-mouth disease’ among farm animals in Rodrigues, Mauritian authorities have had to quarantine a group of imported ox, sheep, and goats. Tests are currently being done to determine whether the latter carry the deadly virus. Meanwhile, a crisis committee in Rodrigues has decided to have infected animals slaughtered.
Infected animals imported to Mauritius?
Following the confirmation of the appearance of disease in Rodrigues, farm animals were banned from being imported from the island. However, a cargo had already left Rodrigues for Mauritius – it reached the port on Monday, August 1, with 235 animals onboard, including oxen, sheep, and goats, which were, thankfully, immediately quarantined.
The animals in the cargo are suspected to carry the virus that causes the highly-infectious disease. They have, therefore, been isolated to prevent the disease from spreading to animals in Mauritius. The plan of the Ministry of Agro-Industry is to test for the presence of the virus in their system before releasing them. Blood samples have been sent to South Africa for analysis. The results are expected to be known shortly, according to the Assistant Director of the livestock and veterinary division of the ministry, Dr Deodass Meenowa. The latter says that the animals have already shown certain symptoms.
Mauritian importers are concerned
Another aspect of this issue pertains to importers who form a group of 18 individuals; they will be incurring great losses if these animals are, indeed, infected. They are asking as to why the ministry has allowed for the animals to be imported if it was known that several farm animals were infected. According to the ministry, though, the communiqué sent to Rodrigues on Friday, July 29, requesting for the animals to be sent later was apparently ignored by the parties concerned as they were embarked on July 30. It is not known, though, as to what really happened to the communiqué.
Meanwhile, in Rodrigues…
313 animals have already died of the infection in Rodrigues, reports RadioPlus.
The crisis committee in Rodrigues has decided that the infected animals will be slaughtered. However, no butcher or other individual has been given the right to slaughter an animal without informing the authorities.
Farmers will be obtaining compensations for the slaughtered animals. The government has put aside a total of Rs 35 million for this purpose. The individuals rearing animals will have Rs 35,000 for each slaughtered ox, Rs 6,000 for each goat or sheep, and Rs 5,000 for each pig.
According to the Ministry of Agro-Industry, the infection might have spread through imported contaminated meat. To prevent the situation from worsening, measures have been taken to launch a vaccination campaign.