KUALA TERENGGANU (Bernama): The Terengganu Veterinary Services Department has declared the buffalo farm belonging to the family of Muhammad Syukur Khamis in Kampung Banggol Katong near Serada here a restricted area to the public.
Its director Dr Mohd Termizi Ghazali said the measure was taken under the Animals Act 1953 (Act 647) which only allowed owners to enter the area, to prevent the disease, believed to be haemorrhagic septicaemia, from spreading to other areas.
"This is the department's standard operating procedure (SOP) in ensuring that there is no movement of people and vehicles into the farm as it poses an infection risk to livestock in other areas.
"This farm has been closed effective today until the problem of the outbreak is resolved,” he said when contacted on Tuesday (Sept 15).
Meanwhile, a check by Bernama on the farm found that the process of burying the dead buffalo carcasses was still ongoing.
Muhammad Syukur – popularly known as ‘Mowgli Malaysia’ or ‘Kampung Boy’ after picytures of him with the buffaloes went viral in 2015 – said five more buffaloes died Tuesday morning, while six were found to have critical symptoms.
"This morning I was even more sad because I saw a buffalo calf that was only a month old still breastfeeding from its dead mother .... I don't know how to describe the feeling of sadness and was choked with emotion.
"For now, we are really hoping to find a way to save the buffaloes that are still healthy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Syukur’s father, Khamis Jusoh, 64 said they were at a loss on how to isolate the buffaloes that were still healthy, as suggested by the Veterinary Department, due to space and time constraints.
"It is difficult for me to quarantine the animals because there is no suitable place, moreover this is an open area .... and the buffaloes cannot be exposed to hot weather, they will cross over the fence to go to the nearby paddy fields.
"I really hope the healthy buffaloes can be saved with Veterinary Department’s expertise and skills, but if not (and more deaths occur), I am resigned to God’s will,” he said.
On Monday, the media reported that 36 buffaloes belonging to the family of Muhammad Syukur, 15, have died in stages from Wednesday, believed to be due to haemorrhagic septicaemia. – Bernama