Agricultural experts say Lumpy Skin Disease, a viral infection that affects cows and buffaloes, is not a concern this year as Laos has observed very few cases of it in 2023.
Mr. Phoutthasinh Phimmachanh, Director of the Lao Farmer Network, told the Laotian Times that Lumpy Skin Disease hadn’t posed a threat so far this year.
“As far as we can tell, there have been some instances of the disease, but they are very few, hence the farmers haven’t expressed any major concerns,” Mr. Phoutthasinh adds.
When it comes to detecting the disease at its early stage, the director of the Lao Farmer Network said that cattle farmers would have no trouble determining whether their cows had contracted Lumpy Skin Disease because of its effects on the animals.
“Because cattle are both valuable and expensive in Laos, they are well cared for. Whether it’s ointments or pills, the farmers get it straight from the veterinary authorities,” Mr. Phoutthasinh says.
But Mr. Phoutthasinh added that if an outbreak did occur, it would have a significant impact on cattle markets throughout the country since infected livestock would not be edible.
In 2021, Khammouane Province was ravaged by a massive outbreak of Lumpy Skin disease. In 140 villages across eight districts, the virus affected 6,013 livestock and buffalo. Around 67 animals died as a result oCf the sickness, while 4,276 were treated.
During this period, local governments sought to prevent the disease’s spread by outlawing the import, export, and transit of cattle and buffaloes between countries, as well as the transfer of livestock between districts and villages.
Lumpy skin disease is a viral disease that affects cattle and is transmitted through blood-feeding insects like flies, mosquitoes, and ticks. It causes fever, and nodules on the skin, and can be fatal, particularly for animals without prior exposure to the virus.