KUALA TERENGGANU, June 11 — The Terengganu Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) recently identified two cases of brucellosis affecting over 400 cattle and goats believed to have been smuggled into the country.

Its director, Dr Anum Man, said these are the first instances of brucellosis detected during their operations inspecting smuggled livestock since disease screening began last year.

Brucellosis, a zoonotic disease capable of infecting humans, was found in 300 cattle seized in Dungun last month and 146 goats seized in Setiu on May 23.

“All suspected animals smuggled from Thailand tested positive for brucellosis and are now quarantined under Section 18 of the Animals Act 1953 (Act 647),” he said when met at his office here.

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Dr Anum highlighted that brucellosis spreads to humans through contaminated animal milk and direct contact with diseased animals’ secretions.

Symptoms include persistent high fever, headache, general weakness and in advanced stages, it can result in internal organ infections, including the urinary tract.

With Hari Raya Aidiladha approaching, Dr Anum urged caution in selecting sacrificial animals, advising against those lacking valid health certificates or transfer permits due to the disease risks they pose.

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Illegally imported animals are often sold at lower prices than the market rate

Regarding this year’s sacrificial ritual, Dr Anum estimated 5,000 to 7,000 animals will be involved, predominantly cattle at 96 per cent.

Due to the limited capacity of Terengganu DVS’ seven slaughterhouses and three private facilities to handle all sacrificial livestock, permission has been granted for slaughtering outside these designated areas.

He said External Slaughter Permits can be obtained at nearby Veterinary Services Offices until tomorrow (June 12), costing RM35 per head for cattle and buffalo and RM25 per head for goats and sheep.

As of June 10, the Terengganu DVS received 873 External Slaughter Permit applications for the sacrificial ritual, involving 1,985 cattle, 63 goats and five buffalo and the number is expected to increase before Aidiladha next week.

During the ritual, Dr Anum said 106 technical officers and 19 veterinary enforcement officers have been appointed to inspect meat and verify permits for external slaughtering at all locations to prevent infectious diseases in the animals.

He also cautioned those who will be participating in the sacrificial ritual to adhere to regulations, warning that unauthorised slaughter could lead to a fine of up to RM10,000. — Bernama