Foot and mouth disease casts shadow over Eid festival in Indonesia

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – An outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Indonesia threatens to disrupt a ritual of slaughtering animals to mark the festival of Eid al-Adha this 12 months, with livestock merchants in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation bemoaning low gross sales.

Eid Al-Adha, often called the “Festival of Sacrifice”, is among the fundamental holidays in the Islamic calendar and this 12 months falls on July 9.

In the lead as much as celebrations, makeshift pens housing cows and goats usually seem round busy thoroughfares in the Indonesian capital and across the nation. Traditionally, religious Muslims slaughter the animals and share the meat with the poor.

But this 12 months the unfold of foot and mouth disease (FMD), a contagious viral disease that impacts cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, has considerably dampened gross sales.

“This 12 months is a 12 months of loss for us,” mentioned Jamal Lulay, a dealer in West Java who has solely offered 50 cows this 12 months.

“Before COVID, we might promote as much as 330 cows, and throughout COVID it was round 170… This 12 months gross sales have dropped drastically.”

Indonesia had launched a nationwide livestock vaccination programme in an try curb the outbreak that started this May.

More than 317,000 animals have been contaminated in 21 Indonesian provinces, largely on essentially the most populated islands of Java and Sumatra, with greater than 3,400 animals culled, in accordance with authorities information.

While the disease could be deadly for animals, it’s not typically thought-about a menace to human well being.

“People’s enthusiasm for sacrifice has not been diminished, however they’re extra frightened in regards to the well being (of the animals),” mentioned Muhammad Husein al Bana, a livestock dealer in Jakarta.

Until this May, the Southeast Asian nation had been freed from FMD since 1986, a standing recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health in 1990.

“Ultimately it’s the client’s determination,” mentioned Iskandar Saputra, a Jakarta purchaser nonetheless keen to take the chance.

“I believe the cows offered listed below are secure and wholesome.”

(Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Ed Davies and Raju Gopalakrishnan)



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