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Lack of vaccines leads to dozens of West Bank livestock deaths

Oct. 29, 2013 7:40 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 30, 2013 1:40 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Dozens of animals have died in the West Bank due to a lack of vaccines against a deadly disease affecting livestock, farmers say.

Adel Hassan Ibrahim, a shepherd from Bethlehem, told Ma'an that 48 of his cattle have died from the disease because the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Agriculture has no vaccines to protect animals.

Ibrahim says he contacted the ministry two months ago and the disease has caused severe financial losses.

Imad Mukarker, an official in the PA Ministry of Culture, told Ma'an that they have asked the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture to provide 20,000 shots of a vaccine for the disease.

The disease can not be transferred to humans but has a fatality rate of 10 percent for sheep.

PA Minister of Agriculture Walid Assaf told Ma'an that Israel does not allow the PA to import vaccines. He said the PA must buy them from Israel for double the price.

The ministry will try to import vaccines from abroad next year, he added.
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