Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Agriculture has implemented several policies ranging from vaccination to surveillance of livestock as part of its strategy to control anthrax in Indonesia this year.

Anthrax is not a disease that can be released, it can only be controlled because it is spread via spores in the ground and the environment, director of animal health at the ministry, Nuryani Zainudin, said.

Efforts to prevent and control anthrax are focusing on its source and involve various methods, she informed during the "Anthrax Situation in Indonesia Update" press conference streamed on Thursday.

These include conducting vaccinations, controlling livestock traffic from endemic regions to anthrax-free regions, and disposing of infected livestock.

"What is most important for controlling anthrax is raising public awareness on the dangers of the disease and improving surveillance in regions at risk," she said.

This year, the ministry has delivered 96 thousand vaccine doses to provinces with a dominant livestock population through its assistance fund.

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The provinces that have received the vaccines comprise West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Gorontalo, South Sulawesi, and West Sulawesi.

The ministry has also allocated 110 thousand vaccine doses as reserve stock to the central government to be used during animal disease plagues, such as the one recorded in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta.

In addition, control efforts are also being undertaken through national observation and identification via veterinary centers that currently exist in 10 Indonesian regions.

"The veterinary centers conduct sample-taking surveillance to carry out early detection in relation to anthrax-endemic location," Zainudin informed.

The ministry reported that 143,795 cows, 202,555 goats, and 11 thousand sheep in Gunung Kidul have met the criteria for livestock vulnerable to anthrax.

"Gunung Kidul entered anthrax endemic. If proper handling is not done, then the cases will continue," Zainudin cautioned.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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