ULAN BATOR, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday said that martial law has been declared in central-west Arkhangai Province to contain the spread of the deadly foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
As of Friday, there have been outbreaks of the FMD in six soums (administrative subdivisions) in the province.
The country's Vice Minister of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry Saule Janimkhan has ordered the relevant officials to do everything they can to stop the spread of the disease.
Last year, Mongolia exported 29,300 tons of meat to countries such as China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Qatar.
The country aims to raise meat exports tenfold in the coming years, attempting to diversify its heavily mining-dependent economy.
But frequent outbreaks of livestock animal diseases such as the FMD is impeding meat exports.
Mongolian quarantine officials have had thousands of animals slaughtered in the past winter in the country to contain the spread of the FMD.
FMD is a highly infectious and sometimes fatal disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, cattle and pigs. The main symptoms of sick animals are increased body temperature, blisters and ulceration in the mucous membranes and hoofs in the mouth.
It is not a direct threat to humans, but disruption of trade and measures to cope with it can be expensive.