TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vaccinations against lumpy skin disease have been carried out throughout northern Taiwan after the first cases to be reported on Taiwan proper were found in New Taipei’s Linkou District on Friday (April 16).
A total of 16,100 cattle in Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan, Miaoli, Hsinchu City, and Hsinchu County have been immunized against the infectious disease as of Sunday (April 18). That covers all cattle farms in the northern region, according to the Council of Agriculture (COA).
Meanwhile, a nationwide inspection involving 160,815 cattle on 1,623 farms has turned up no new cases of the mosquito-borne illness. While the disease does not pose a threat to humans, it could deal a blow to Taiwan’s livestock market.
Former Director of the Animal Health Research Institute Liu Pei-po (劉培柏) has cautioned against mass inoculations, which he fears could make Taiwan lumpy skin disease-free country where vaccination is practiced.
There are restrictions on exports of relevant products from areas where vaccines are used, as was the case with foot-and-mouth disease, UDN quoted him as saying. In addition, an experienced veterinarian expressed concern the lumpy skin jab can cause fever and affect lactation, among other potential side effects, and urged a prudent assessment of the impact of the measure.
Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城), deputy minister of the COA, noted that vaccinations have been verified internationally as an effective and safe way to protect animals against lumpy skin. He added that 95 percent of Taiwan's beef market is from imports, suggesting the threat to beef exports should not be an area of concern.