Ovine rinderpest in southeastern Iran under control

July 23, 2018 - 9:38

TEHRAN – Ovine rinderpest outbreak which had occurred in the southeastern province of Kerman, has been controlled to some extent, said the head of Kerman province department of environment.

Ovine rinderpest commonly known as Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) or sheep and goat plague, is a highly contagious animal disease affecting small ruminants. Once introduced, the virus can infect up to 90 percent of an animal heard, and the disease kills anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of infected animals. The PPR virus does not infect humans.

Kerman department of environment has reduced the spread of infections by burning the carcasses of infected animals and disinfecting the lands and watering troughs, IRNA quoted Reza Jazinizadeh as saying on Sunday.

The risk of ovine rinderpest is high

Abdollah Safarizadeh an environmentalist, for his part, said that the disease was first spotted in Khabr national park, Kerman province, some two years ago, but the effects recently has shown up.

Following the spread of the infection, so far, some 70 heads of rams and wild goats have been killed in the Rochon area in Khabr national park in Kerman province, Safarizadeh regretted.

He went on to say that the disease can be controlled and eradicated before exposing its irreparable damage on the environment by the help of responsible bodies and related organizations.

No major steps can be taken toward eradication of the disease unless the officials will cooperate and a budget will be allocated in this regard, he highlighted.

Currently, the spread of infectious disease is controlled in half of the national parks in Kerman, he also added.

“The infectious disease is rapidly growing, following the smuggling of domestic livestock to the country,” Safarizadeh explained.

“Permanent droughts and loss of natural pastures are also among the major reasons behind the spread of ovine rinderpest,” he said, adding, the physical weakness of wild livestock weakens their immune system, which consequently, increases the transmission of the disease among weaker animals.

A total of 2.4 million hectares in Kerman province is covered with national parks, wildlife refuges, protected areas, and national nature monuments, which constitute 13.1 percent of the province.

According to World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) standard disease control measures consisting of quarantine, movement control, sanitary slaughter, and cleaning and disinfection should be applied to prevent or control the disease. The virus is susceptible to most disinfectants. There are no medications available to treat the disease, but supportive treatment may decrease mortality. A vaccine is used where the disease is established and it provides good immunity.