FAO :: Newsroom :: FAO in the field :: 2006 :: On Europe's doorste… :: EU vaccine at work
EU vaccine at work
Ürünlü, Turkey - Ürünlü village is full of men in white suits chasing cows.

They are led by Şerafettin Ugar, 42, a General Directorate of Protection and Control (GDPC) vet based in Kirklareli.

It's the last day of the fall vaccination campaign in the province, and Ürünlü is the last stop.

There are some 750 cows in this village that Ugar and his partner, Aydin Keskin, 27, need to stick with needles today.

"Each farmer has only a few cows, so it's a lot of going door to door, and a lot of ground to cover for two vets," explains Naci Bulut of Turkey's FMD institute, there to observe. "Farmers being farmers, some might be out doing other work -- then what do you do?"

But thanks to close working relations between GDPC and the local farmers' cooperative, today Ugar and Kesin's job goes smoothly. They split up to cover more ground in less time, each accompanied by a member of the cooperative who helps knock on doors, lug the coolers full of vaccine, and calm startled animals.

"Before this last outbreak, there was some resistance by farmers to vaccinations," Ugar says as he pushes his way in between two cows, a syringe filled with EU-donated vaccine held high over his head. "They worried it could hurt young or pregnant animals. But now, there's a very high willingness to participate."

Mustafa Kayacan, 57, a local farmer and cooperative member, is helping the GDPC vets today. "It's a lot of walking," he says, "but it's worth it. We don't want FMD here."

The help pays off: Ugar and Keskin wrap up around 3 p.m.

They borrow a farmer's hose and clean up. Ugar glances at his watch.

"Still time for a late lunch," he says.

Read more…

On Europe's doorstep, a battle against animal disease

A disease that only sometimes kills, but always cripples

Tale of two farmers

EU vaccine at work

FAO/K. Wiedenhofer

Villagers in Thrace help GDPC vets make their rounds during the 2006 FMD vaccination campaign.

Mustafa Kayacan and GDPC vet Şerafettin Ugar hard at work.

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