Foot and mouth disease strain detected in cows in Turkey

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Frank Brennan
© GettyImages/Frank Brennan

Related tags foot and mouth disease Turkey Cattle

The Turkish agriculture ministry has identified a SAT-2 serotype strain of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in cattle in that country.

The officials notified the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) of their discovery on March 8.

The cases were detected in the eastern half of Turkey. Though media reports suggest there may be additional cases in other parts of the country, noted a report​ from the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In response to the detection, the ag ministry has implemented various measures to halt the spread of the virus.  

“Turkish livestock producers worry that this FMD serotype will seriously affect meat and milk yields, which will continue to put upward pressure on already high retail prices for these items.

“The detection of this new FMD strain comes at a time when the country’s livestock industry is reeling from the effects of the devastating earthquakes as well as tough economic conditions​ that forced many farmers to prematurely liquidate their livestock inventories,” commented the USDA FAS attaché.

Turkey has dealt with FMD cases in the past and has struggled to completely eradicate the virus, given the intensive movements of livestock inside the country and unofficial movements from neighboring countries to the south and east.  

Vaccination campaign

The ag ministry announced in early March that it had developed a vaccine against the SAT-2 serotype and would immediately begin vaccinating susceptible animals. According to local livestock producers, it is critical to complete that campaign and resume the movement of animals ahead of upcoming holidays

“Otherwise, there is concern that the virus could spread further, and cause the livestock industry to suffer even greater financial losses,” added the attaché.

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