Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Veterinary Association (PDHI) - Yogyakarta Chapter has asked Gunungkidul District to strengthen biosecurity to prevent the resurgence of anthrax cases.

The implementation of biosecurity would include improving the cleanliness and the standard of livestock cages, as some of the cages still have dirt floors, Chairperson of PDHI - Yogyakarta Chapter Aniq Syihabuddin said here on Friday.

"The community's cage standards are not supportive of biosecurity," he added.

Cages with dirt floors can be a risky place for anthrax transmission as the Bacillus anthracis bacteria, which causes anthrax, can live in the soil for decades.

Gunungkidul, where anthrax cases emerged in 2019, must anticipate the disease by cementing cage floors and maintaining their cleanliness.

"Cages with dirt floors are difficult to clean, and they are unhygienic. Cement floors are easier to clean," Syihabuddin said.

He also asked cattle owners to spray bacteria-killing disinfectant liquid to clean cage floors.

However, he said that strengthening the cleanliness of cages is not the sole solution for preventing anthrax because the bacteria are airborne.

Other efforts such as vaccination, antibiotic injections, controlling livestock traffic, and thorough epidemiological investigations of cattle are necessary to suppress anthrax cases and prevent them from happening again, he added.

In addition, the habit of some Gunungkidul residents of consuming meat from dead cows must also be done away with, he said.

In the past, anthrax cases in Yogyakarta Province emerged in Pakem, Sleman, in 2003, then in Kulon Progo in 2016; in Pleret, Bantul, in 2017; and in Karangmojo Village, Gunungkidul, in 2019.

Syihabuddin said a resident of Gunungkidul died from anthrax in June 2023 due to the habit of consuming meat from dead cows.

Head of the Yogyakarta Agriculture and Food Security Office (DPKP) Sugeng Purwanto assured that the anthrax cases in Jati, Semanu Sub-district, Gunungkidul, have not spread to other areas.

The office has intensified vaccination and temporarily blocked the movement of livestock in and out of Jati Village.

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Translator: Luqman H, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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