People, Environment

Alborz Hit by Ovine Disease

Alborz Hit by Ovine DiseaseAlborz Hit by Ovine Disease

The confirmed cases of ovine disease have doubled over the past 10 days in Alborz Province, which has caused concerns among officials about a possible epidemic among wild goats and sheep.

Speaking to ILNA, Hossein Mohammadi, director of Alborz Department of Environment, said 175 wild goats and sheep have fallen prey to the deadly disease so far, adding that most victims are below the age of seven.

 Mohammadi added that ruminants from nearby areas carrying the disease may have wandered into the area and afflicted others with the virus.

The carcasses have all been found in Taleghan’s no-hunting zone where the DOE has no jurisdiction.

“That’s why we cannot step in and control the situation,” he said.

“Nevertheless, we’ve done and continue to do everything possible to contain the disease and prevent it from spreading.”

The official noted that his department was quick to react to the first reported case of ovine disease, announcing that around 80,000 domesticated goats and sheep were vaccinated in five days.

Mohammadi said that with the help of rangers and environmental activists, DOE is moving domestic animals away from the afflicted zone.

“We are continuously monitoring the area in search of carcasses that are collected and buried using sanitary methods,” he said.

“Disinfecting the region’s watering holes has proven to be a challenge due to the large number of waterways in the zone.”

Ovine rinderpest disease, or PPR, is highly contagious and has an 80% mortality rate in severe cases.

Last week, reports emerged that the incidence of PPR is on decline in Zanjan Province, a three-hour drive from Alborz.

The outbreak of the disease in Alborz may prompt Zanjan officials to employ more stringent measures to ensure the wellbeing of local livestock.