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Saudi bans imports of Kuwait cows due to virus
February 4, 2015, 9:09 am

Saudi Arabia’s Agriculture Ministry issued a decision to impose a temporary ban on the import of cattle from the State of Kuwait because of the lumpy skin disease, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The decision came from the renewal of a warning bulletin issued by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) about an outbreak of lumpy skin disease in dairy cows in Sulaibiya. The outbreak was originally recorded in November 2014, with 46 cases found in dairy cattle in Sulaibiya.

Most of Kuwait’s dairy farms are located there. A follow up test conducted at the Central Veterinary and Research Laboratory on 24 December 2014 indicated positive and weekly follow up tests are continuing. Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a pox virus very closely related to sheep and goat pox and is characterized by depression, fever and nodules of varying size on the skin, mucous membranes and internal organs.

It only affects cattle and there is no evidence that the virus can affect humans. However it can be economically devastating for cattle ranchers and dairies due to a high mortality rate and outbreaks due to high infection rates. There is no specific antiviral treatment available for LSD-infected cattle. Two vaccines, however, Neethling and Kenya sheep and goat pox virus, have been used widely in Africa with success.

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