Struggling farmers plead for help after livestock infected with ‘lumpy skin disease’

Struggling farmers pleaded for help today (June 7) after their livestock were infected with lumpy skin disease in Thailand. Fumigation and disinfection were underway as the disease quickly spread across districts in Nakhon Ratchasima province affecting cow farmers. Cases of lumpy skin disease were first found in Don Daeng village in Nakhon Phanom province on March and reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health in April. Now an outbreak was seen among farms so owners called on government agencies to speed up the fumigation in high-risk areas. Cow farmer Samarn Raksaphai, 72, said: ‘I have six cows to feed. Two of them were infected with the disease. I would like all relevant authorities to curb the spread and find proper vaccines for animals as soon as possible. ‘They are Brazilian cow with the price of 50,000 baht each. My expensive cows had lumps on their legs so they were separated from the herd in an isolated enclosure.’ Possawee Somjai of the provincial Livestock Department said they were doing everything they could to prevent the disease from spreading further. He said: ‘The spread of lumpy skin disease was found in five districts of the province including Kaeng Sanam Nang district, Kong distinct, Pimai district, Non Daeng distinct and Non Sung district. ‘I have tasked livestock agencies in each district to take extra care of the animals, especially those that were prone to contracting the disease. We were also doing information drives to let the farmers in remote areas know.’ To contain the disease, transporting animal between provinces is currently ban except when they have permits from the local agencies. Lumpy skin disease is a viral disease of cattle that is spread by biting insects. It is closely related to the pox viruses of sheep and goats which causes nodular skin lesions or ‘lumps’ on the animal’s body.