Ban on transfer of cattle between farms for six months
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The Government said today that the Veterinary Service has banned the transfer of cattle between farms for six months after results from tests recently identified an outbreak of of Q fever in goats on one farm.
Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes added that the goats, sheep and bovine will also not be allowed in shows such as the Mnarja events, to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Animals will only be allowed to be transferred to the abbattoir.
Although this disease can affect all animals, it is usually sheep, goats and cattle that are the most at risk.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that the disease had been detected following the testing of a number of kids born prematurely on a farm. The adult goat had recovered.
Q fever is an infectious disease of animals and humans caused by a species of bacteria called Coxiella burnetii. Mr Galdes, emphasised that there is no risk to people who drink pasteurised milk or eat cooked meat.
There is only a slim risk of the spread of the disease, which is manifested as mild flu-like symptoms in humans, who have been in direct contact with the infected animals. No case involving people has yet been detected.
People at risk are those who work, or have contact with, animals such as producers or farmers, veterinarians, assistants and those working in the slaughterhouse. They can avoid contamination from this bacterium by making use of simple hygienic procedures such as wearing gloves while at work.