Thursday, January 23, 2020

Satun under rabies spotlight as suspect cow put down

May 07. 2018
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By The Nation

LIVESTOCK officials have euthanised a cow that had just given birth out of suspicion that it might have caught rabies. Raised in a pen in Satun’s Muang district, the cow was bitten by a stray dog late last month.

The owner alerted livestock officials, who had been monitored the animal. 

“It developed rabies-like symptoms, so we decided to kill it,” a local official said. 

He added that the pen owner, Pim Chantarangsee, had been advised to quarantine and monitor the calf since it had suckled from its mother. 

Pim has herself also been vaccinated for rabies as a precaution. 

On Sunday, the Livestock Development Department (LDD) announced lab tests had confirmed that a crossbreed pig-boar kept as a pet had died of rabies in Nakhon Ratchasima last month after being attacked by a stray dog. 

“My pet was very smart and adorable,” said Pin Nuponkrang, the pig-boar’s owner. 

“I am not worried about whether I caught rabies from my little pig. I only feel sad that it’s gone,” the 75-year-old woman added. 

Passawee Somjai, who heads Nakhon Ratchasima’s livestock-development office, said Pin and her 18 family members had been vaccinated against rabies. 

He added that more than 200 cats and dogs in Pin’s village were also given rabies shots. 

Passawee said that although a rabies infection in a pig was confirmed, consumers should not worry about their meat.

“Pork in the market comes from farms with good standards. It’s safe for consumption,” he added.

LDD director-general Apai Suttisunk said his agency had worked with the Local Administration Department in vaccinating cats and dogs against rabies. 

“We have vaccinated all dogs and cats within a 5-kilometre radius of the site where rabies infections were found,” he said. 

In total more than 4.7 million dogs and cats had been vaccinated since last October, he said. 

“Before the end of September, we believe about 10 million will get vaccines,” Apai said. 

At present, 38 provinces have been designated rabies-hit zones after cases there were confirmed. The designation is removed after 30 days if no new cases are found. 

The 38 provinces are: Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Chanthaburi, Chachoengsao, Prachin Buri, Rayong, Samut Prakan, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Yasothon, Si Sa Ket, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, Mahasarakham, Mukdahan, Roi Et, Chiang Rai, Phichit, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon, Suphan Buri, Krabi, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, Surat Thani, Songkhla, Satun and Pattani. 

The Public Health Ministry has assured the public that there will be sufficient rabies vaccine for everyone who needed it. 

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