TALLINN – About 60 kilometers from the Estonia-Russian border in the Volosovsky district of Leningrad Oblast, sheeppox and goatpox were diagnosed in October in a 120-head herd, 60 of whom died.
Olev Kalda, head of the department for animal health and animal welfare at the Agriculture and Food Board, said that sheeppox and goatpox are particularly dangerous animal diseases. "Sheeppox and goatpox are highly contagious, acute diseases of sheep and goats, characterized by a purulent rash on the skin and mucous membranes. There is no cure for the disease and therefore all infected animals must be killed to limit the spread of the disease and to avoid major economic damage," Kalda was quoted by spokespeople as saying.
There is no import of sheep and goats from Russia to Estonia, but the disease can be spread by contaminated equipment, vehicles, feed and bedding. "We see that the disease has come dangerously close to Estonia. In 2019, the same disease was diagnosed about a hundred kilometers from Estonia. Therefore, sheep and goat farmers must be diligent and follow the necessary biosecurity measures to avoid the worst," Kalda said.
In case of suspicion of animal disease, farmers must inform their veterinarian.
Sheeppox and goatpox are transmitted as droplet infection in direct contact with an animal with ulcerative nodules on the mucous membranes. The primary symptoms are fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and tearing and salivation.
The disease does not pose a threat to humans.