Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a dangerous infectious disease of even-toed ungulates, however since 1991, the European Union has banned preventive vaccination. During the occupation of the USSR, there were two outbreaks in Estonia: the first started in 1952 (at which time the barns typically housed about 20 cows); and the second began in 1982 (a period when barns typically housed several 100 animals). Neither outbreak was reported to the international community. At that time, it was also forbidden to talk about the disease in the internal media, and speakers could be punished. This study sought to find answers as to how the disease was treated and eliminated in the Estonian SSR, how infected animals and milk were handled, and if some of the methods used can be applied today. Written archival sources and 29 interviews with specialists remembering the outbreaks were used. Preventive slaughter of animals in the USSR was prohibited during the outbreak. As a preventive measure vaccination was used, traveling out of their counties by people were restricted and disinfection mats were used on the roads. In sick animals, udder wounds were treated with various wound ointments, such as zinc ointment, but also ointment made from boiled spruce resin. Birch tar was also recommended in the literature for leg treatments. Mouth wounds were washed with potassium permanganate solution. Workers used rubber gloves when handling sick animals. The barns were disinfected with lime and ash water. The milk from the diseased cows was pasteurized and given to calves, pigs, or diseased animals. Animals that did not recover were transferred to a meat processing plant. The meat was kept in potassium permanganate solution before processing and canned or made into sausages. When the disease was discovered, farm workers were locked in barns and released only when the disease had been eliminated. Such inhumane treatment could only be practiced in a totalitarian society.

Control of foot-and-mouth disease in a closed society: A case study of Soviet Estonia

Julia Prakofjewa;
2022

Abstract

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a dangerous infectious disease of even-toed ungulates, however since 1991, the European Union has banned preventive vaccination. During the occupation of the USSR, there were two outbreaks in Estonia: the first started in 1952 (at which time the barns typically housed about 20 cows); and the second began in 1982 (a period when barns typically housed several 100 animals). Neither outbreak was reported to the international community. At that time, it was also forbidden to talk about the disease in the internal media, and speakers could be punished. This study sought to find answers as to how the disease was treated and eliminated in the Estonian SSR, how infected animals and milk were handled, and if some of the methods used can be applied today. Written archival sources and 29 interviews with specialists remembering the outbreaks were used. Preventive slaughter of animals in the USSR was prohibited during the outbreak. As a preventive measure vaccination was used, traveling out of their counties by people were restricted and disinfection mats were used on the roads. In sick animals, udder wounds were treated with various wound ointments, such as zinc ointment, but also ointment made from boiled spruce resin. Birch tar was also recommended in the literature for leg treatments. Mouth wounds were washed with potassium permanganate solution. Workers used rubber gloves when handling sick animals. The barns were disinfected with lime and ash water. The milk from the diseased cows was pasteurized and given to calves, pigs, or diseased animals. Animals that did not recover were transferred to a meat processing plant. The meat was kept in potassium permanganate solution before processing and canned or made into sausages. When the disease was discovered, farm workers were locked in barns and released only when the disease had been eliminated. Such inhumane treatment could only be practiced in a totalitarian society.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/5002451
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