Cattle Disease Crisis Ongoing; Livestock Owners Advised

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Updated: March 4, 2016

A notice coming out of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority is strongly advising cattle owners to get their livestock vaccinated against rabies if they haven’t been vaccinated within the last year and to also get them vaccinated against Blackleg if they haven’t been vaccinated within the last six months.  The notice comes about following the ongoing cattle disease crisis being experienced in the country.   Rabies is a highly fatal disease that affects all mammals and is always fatal.  It can, however, be prevented through vaccination.  Any animal infected with rabies will usually show nervous signs and aggressive behavior while most of them will show excessive salivation as swallowing becomes impossible. Individuals are being cautioned to avoid coming in contact with animals showing these symptoms and to immediately call the officers at BAHA. As for the Blackleg disease, it is a highly fatal one particularly in young cattle.  In majority of death cases, the animal is found dead without any prior signs of sickness.  According to the BAHA release, the Blackleg disease rapidly kills the livestock that treatment has been deemed useless.  It is, however, almost entirely preventable by vaccination.  Farmers are encouraged to use the seven-way Blackleg vaccine.  For any additional advice, BAHA is asking that farmers contact their officers immediately or the Department of Agriculture, the Belize Livestock Producers Association and registered veterinarians.