30 Jun 2009

Authorities in Fiji quarantine dairy farms after discovering infectious disease

7:14 pm on 30 June 2009

Authorities in Fiji have quarantined two dairy farms in Tailevu North after an infectious disease was detected among hundreds of cattle.

The FijiTimes reports the disease, Brucellosis, was discovered on farms in Wainivesi and Waimaro.

It says members of the public are being asked to not consume unpasteurized milk, and to avoid any unnecessary visits to these areas.

It reports a Ministry of Primary Industries Veterinarian, Doctor Robin Achari, saying milk suppliers in the affected areas have been told to stop providing milk to clients until further notice because humans can transmit the disease through raw milk.

It is also believed that boiling raw milk does not kill the bacteria.

The Ministry says all Rewa Dairy products are safe for consumption because they undergo the pasteurization process which kills the bacteria that causes the disease.

Livestock officers are now expected to conduct tests at the more than 200 dairy farms in the Wainivesi and Waimaro areas.

The affected farms in the area are under quarantine and the public is being advised that all movement will be monitored and vehicles are to be disinfected before departing the area.