Foot and mouth seminar3 May 2001
Speaking during a seminar organised by King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center and aimed at increasing public awareness, Dr Rashid Al-Qawan, Dr Ghazi Yaghmoor and Dr Samar Bader Al-Deen all agreed that foot and mouth disease could have devastating effects on the livestock industry in the Kingdom. Dr Rashid Al-Qawan, consultant and director of Family Medical Department at King Faisal Specialist Hospital, said that according to the latest reports, three cases were discovered in Yanbu recently, other cases have been reported in the Eastern Province and 151 infected animals were burned in UAE. Dr Ghazi Yaghmoor, a Ministry of Agriculture and Water veterinarian, said that Saudi Arabia has been making every effort to prevent this disease from spreading. 'It is common sense to take protective measures in order to avoid the spread of foot and mouth disease after the current outbreak in Britain.' Burning the infected animals is the only way to prevent the spread of a disease that could decimate the country's dairy and meat industries. At the end of the one-day seminar, which was attended by large number of press representatives and the staff of King Faisal Specialist Hospital, speakers agreed that this disease is not as serious as the Rift Valley fever and people should not worry about it from the point of view of public health. Foot and mouth disease was first discovered in the Kingdom around ten years ago in Tabuk where many animals were affected.