Sanctuary hit by skin disease

Sanctuary hit by skin disease

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plantation (DNP) has stepped up surveillance amid an outbreak of Lumpy Skin Disease in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.

Thanit Nooyim, chief of Conservation Area 12, said park rangers have increased patrols to prevent villagers bringing their cattle near the sanctuary on concerns about the spread of the disease from wild animals.

He said the sanctuary is home to gaurs and bantengs which can contract the cattle and buffalo disease which is caused by a capripox virus.

"Park rangers will keep an eye out for wild animals to make sure they don't wander out of the sanctuary zone," he said.

The stepped-up surveillance follows an outbreak in a community about 20km from the sanctuary which saw 139 animals fall sick and 11 die.

Earlier, three hog deer at a breeding station had lumps on their skin and the samples were sent for testing, according to Mr Thanit. However, they were cleared of infection.

Meanwhile, Pichai Watcharawongpaiboon, director of Conservation Area 3, said Kui Buri national park is also on alert for the outbreak after one of two gaurs that died was found to have been infected.

He said that a buffer zone has now been set up to keep farm cattle from wandering into the park and vehicles entering will be disinfected.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, Conservation Area 7 chief Sitthichai Sereesongsaeng said a dead gaur found at Khao Phaeng Ma reserve had not had the disease.

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