1 Jul 2009

Authorities in Fiji quarantine two dairy farms after discovering infectious disease

11:11 am on 1 July 2009

A bacterial disease which has been dormant in Fiji for more than 10 years has forced the destruction of more than 200 cows in Tailevu North.

Authorities also banned all milk supply from the Wainivesi/Waimaro area from June 16 as part of efforts to prevent any possibility of transmission to humans.

The paper, the Fiji Times says this is after the bacterial disease known as brucellosis re-emerged in cows in the Wainivesi/Waimaro region, forcing authorities to place a quarantine over the area.

According to the Ministry of Primary Industries, the quarantine has been in place since June 16, with the monitoring of all movement in the area and calls for the disinfection of all vehicles leaving Wainivesi Road.

The ministry said tests were conducted on over 2,000 cows on 10 farms in Wainivesi, with 244 testing positive for the brucella abortus.

Ministry of Primary Industries, veterinarian Dr Robin Achari, says they have started slaughtering infected cows.

Dr Achari says they are advising farm workers not to touch the calves or clean the cows because that is one way the bacteria can infect humans.

He also says people should also refrain from drinking raw milk until clearance is given.