An outbreak of anthrax has killed 1,500 northern deer in Russia and, with the figure set to rise, fears over exports of venison have begun to surface.
The anthrax outbreak in the Yamal Peninsula, the Arctic part of Russia, is believed to be the largest for 75 years. To fight against the disease, Russia has applied unprecedented measures, including the evacuation of farmers and their families.
Local veterinary services believe the disease probably emanated from animal burial sites – and some pastures where animals have been grazing will be banned for livestock use for the next 25 years.
“This disease has been present in our country for a long time and we have 35,000 officially registered animals with anthrax in burial sites,” said Julia Demina, deputy head of Russian sanitary body Rospotrebnadzor. “These are the places where anthrax spores could be found in the soil.”
Source: Massive anthrax outbreak kills 1,500 deer in Russia; largest for 75 years