Russia and Kyrgyzstan face anthrax outbreak

By Vladislav Vorotnikov, Moscow

- Last updated on GMT

Russia and Kyrgyzstan face anthrax outbreak

Related tags Kyrgyzstan Milk Livestock Anthrax Beef

Recent outbreaks of anthrax in regions of Russia and Kyrgyzstan have raised fears over the safety of beef.

Anthrax has been registered in the Altai region of Russia, which borders with Kazakhstan, since the end of August. So far, 13 people have been hospitalised and one person has died as a result of anthrax infection. In a bid to control the outbreak, Kazakhstan and other Russian regions have imposed an emergency ban all meat imports from the Altai region.

“Until further notice, import restrictions will be imposed on the following controlled goods from the Altai Territory: farm animals susceptible to anthrax, meat and meat products, dairy products, wool, hides and bristles of cattle, small ruminants and pigs,”​ said Akin Ispullaev, head of the committee of veterinary control and supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan.

Officials believe that the people contracted the anthrax from infected cattle, but it is unknown how many animals are sick or will be destroyed in the Altai region. According to unconfirmed sources, the outbreak stems from six head of cattle which caught infection before they were sold to the slaughterhouse.

At the same time, five anthrax outbreaks have been registered in Kyrgyzstan – one in Bishkek city, one in the Batken region, one in Osh region and two in the Chui region. However, the country’s veterinary services said that the situation was under control.

“All the necessary anti-epidemic and anti-epizootic measures are under way. We are currently carrying out inspections at all the markets and shops in Bishkek. Additionally, we are carrying out vaccination of animals susceptible to anthrax, as well as treating individuals involved in the slaughter with immunoglobulin,”​ said Dzhalalidin Gaybulin, director of Kyrgyzstan’s National Center for Quarantine and Especially Dangerous Infections.

As in the Altai region, the infection originated in cattle, and it is unknown whether there are any contaminated products on the market.

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