The Director of the Livestock Department in Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar, Saleh Abu Mbarka has announced the detection of the first case of sheep pox in Al-Bayda, eastern Libya.
Abu Mbarka stated that this disease is the second type to be documented in the eastern region. This came following the earlier registration of lumpy skin disease among cattle.
Sheep breeders in the affected area have been urged to promptly seek assistance from the private sector, to provide the necessary treatment, despite the high cost and limited resources.
Abu Mbarka highlighted that infected cattle with lumpy skin disease have been isolated by each breeder. He emphasised the need for treatment to be made available through the private sector.
He pointed out the lack of awareness among breeders regarding disease control and prevention methods, as the disease is new to Libya and has spread rapidly.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Italian government have entered a collaborative agreement focused on the prevention and control of arboviral and zoonotic diseases within Libya. This partnership involves cooperation with the Libyan Ministry of Health and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).
Through this agreement, experts from WHO, Libya’s Ministry of Health, and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome will work together to enhance the One Health approach in Libya. The WHO’s role will be to aid in improving disease surveillance and detection, promote cooperation amongst different stakeholders, and support the development of laboratory capacities for diagnosing zoonotic diseases at both central and local levels.
Notably, Abu Mbarka has said that about 40% of livestock in the flood-affected areas in the northeastern region have perished.
Abu Mbarka said in a press statement that the agency has documented the damage, including approximately 13 poultry sheds in ruins, the loss of 7,000 sheep and goats, 1,500 camels, and the death of 2,000 cattle.
He pointed out that the carcasses of the livestock are scattered throughout the affected areas, emitting a strong odour, which poses potential health risks to citizens.
“This catastrophe will lead to a significant crisis in eggs and poultry, resulting in a surge in meat prices,” he noted.