Herders to be fined for concealing diseased livestock

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Emergency workers examining a goat in Mandal soum

Mayor of Mandal soum in Selenge Province announced that he will impose a penalty on any herder who tries to hide livestock affected with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in addition to canceling their financial assistance.

It’s been almost a month since a quarantine was set up in Mandal soum due to FMD outbreaks. Since then, 29,400 cows, pigs, sheep, and goats were vaccinated, Mayor N.Lkhagvadorj reported on Sunday. He said that the emergency department and associated agencies had started a countdown to remove the quarantine in 28 days as they didn’t receive the reports about FMD cases in the past five days. However, when inspectors went to examine livestock of a herder family, they found 17 of their 40 livestock had been infected.

Mayor N.Lkhagvadorj prompted herders to immediately report if livestock shows even minor symptoms of FMD or other diseases because affected livestock can’t be cured. He added, “It’s no use to try to treat affected cattle with ordinary spirit or vaccines. Keeping them hidden will only spread the disease to other livestock for the next three years. Therefore, herders will be fined and stripped off of their financial remuneration if found hiding affected livestock.”

The result of a laboratory test to determine the origin of the disease outbreak hasn’t come out yet, according to officials. The test is currently being conducted in Russia. Reports state that out of 230 cattle tested for FMD by three veterinary teams, 118 cows were tested positive.

The mayor declared to reexamine all livestock tested negative for FMD. He also increased police patrols and set a fine of 150,000 MNT for anyone driving within the quarantine without authorization as many unauthorized vehicles had been driving across the quarantined site since it was set up. So far, 26 drivers have been fined, a local official reported.

Reportedly, around 40 police cars and trucks have been approved to transport emergency workers and teams for sterilization and disinfection. Authorities are allowing residents in an urgent need to pass through, for example for a funeral or medical attention, within two hours.

 In relation to the outbreak, the National Emergency Management Agency issued the following decisions on December 8.

  • Prohibit all public measures during Christmas and New Year’s Eve
  • Provide transportation for eight local children with disabilities to their schools via a bus from Zuunkharaa Polytechnic College
  • Extend the quarantine in kindergartens by five days
  • Inform associated organizations to make trains coming from and going to Selenge Province stop at Tunkhel Railway Station instead
  • Prohibit entry of all vehicles (food and tank trucks included) for two days
  • Revise permits of vehicles used for sterilization, disinfection and surveying

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