By Safaa Abdoun
CAIRO: Egypt began local production of the vaccine to combat foot and mouth disease (FMD) as the rate of infection has significantly decelerated, said Agriculture Minister Mohamed Reda.
The minister was updating the cabinet of ministers with the latest in the combat the spreading disease.
The rate of the disease increase has significantly decelerated, Reda said in a meeting of the ministerial committee at the Cabinet of Ministers, headed by Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury.
Headed by Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury, the meeting included the ministers of petroleum, supply and domestic trade, irrigation and water resources, health and agriculture.
The governor of Gharbiya, where the disease first broke out, and MPs from the province in both the People’s Assembly and Shoura Council were also present.
They discussed the preparation of an emergency plan to compensate farmers, based on the number and age of cattle they’ve lost, as well as postponing their installments on loans from the Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit.
El-Ganzoury said a report is being prepared to amend the current insurance fund law so the government can properly compensate those affected by FMD. It will be presented in the next Cabinet meeting.
Compensation will be given based on reports by veterinarians or by the Veterinary Unit in each province, and not through complaints filed at police stations.
“We have received complaints calling for compensation for over 50,000 cattle, which is an extremely exaggerated number,” said Reda.
An outbreak of FMD among cattle in Egypt has been a concern for the past few weeks, with the Ministry of Agriculture preventing the trade or transportation of cattle between provinces.
According to the latest reports, over 33,000 were infected and 3,110 have died since the beginning of the outbreak, according to official state portal Egynews.net.
Present in Egypt are FMD types A and O, for which local livestock have been vaccinated; however, the current outbreak is from FMD type SAT2, found in the country for the first time.