According to news reports in Turkey, the southeast of the country has been hit by a new outbreak of anthrax. The province of Bitlis has reportedly been quarantined following the death of 81 cows in one week.
Anthrax is a serious bacterial disease of sheep and cattle that can be transmitted to humans, causing severe skin ulceration or a form of pneumonia. It is spread by contact with spores of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which often appeared in infectious animal products.
All cattle in Günkırı in Nitlis are said to have been vaccinated and local authorities are reported to have said that the animals in surrounding areas will also be vaccinated in order to protect an outbreak. Additional measures that are said to have been taken are that cattle entering and leaving the district are being checked by security forces, while sales of meat and dairy products have been banned.
Animal rights group the Turkish Animal Rights Federation reportedly said on Twitter that it had sadly received reports that animals dying of anthrax were thrown into the Maramara Sea. It also claimed that a Panama flagged ship allegedly carrying anthrax infected animals has been waiting at the southern entrance of Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait.
ITIJ reported on another suspected outbreak of anthrax in Turkey earlier this year that was suspected to have been caused by infected beef.