Bulaksumur – More than 50% of the tens of thousands of dairy cows affected by Merapi eruption, are reported as infected by mastitis disease (udder inflammation) from being exposed to hot clouds some time ago. The condition is getting worse because the cows are never milked as they are abandoned by their owners so they are infected by bacteria. This was delivered by the coordinator of identification team of livestock victims handling, Prof. Dr. drh. Ida Tjahajati, MS, to reporters on Wednesday (1/12).
Most of dairy cows suffer from acute and chronic mastitis. Cows that are still classified as having acute mastitis can still be healed, while the chronic ones are unlikely to produce milk any longer. "If the cows are not productive anymore, they are suggested to be sold to the government," said the Chairman of the Veterinary Medical Command Post, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine UGM.
Professor of the Faculty explained that mastitis is quite detrimental to farmers. Acute mastitis cows can still be healed by antibiotics. After recovering, dairy cow is still able to produce milk. Meanwhile, those that suffer from chronic mastitis can be cured, but can not produce milk anymore because udder gland tissue is damaged. "Up to now, we have not recorded the overall number of cows that have mastitis, both acute and chronic, because there are still some cows left unevacuated," she said.
Answering reporters’ questions about the possible transmission of disease from dead animals to humans, Prof. Ida explained up to now it is not found any such cases (zoonosis). According to Prof. Ida, Merapi pyroclastic flows that reached 600 degrees Celsius temperature can destroy most bacteria and viruses in animals that are dead. "There is still silver lining because the source of salmonella and anthrax disease die at this temperature," she said.
From the result of identification, dairy cows which are located in disaster vulnerable locations in Sleman are 5,273, Klaten 6,974, Magelang 767 , and Boyolali approximately 62,038.
Meanwhile, Director General of Animal Husbandry and Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture, drh. Prabowo Respatiyo Caturroso, MM, Ph.D., said the government through the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture is ready to replace animals that die by providing livestock. "The government will replace animals that died by replacing them with livestock through social assistance program," he said. He said the number of animals killed at Merapi is 2,907, while as many as 3,881 cattle will be sold.