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Government launches vaccination program to fight African Horse Sickness

Jack Burton

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Government launches vaccination program to fight African Horse Sickness | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Reuters
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The first outbreak of African Horse Sickness, aka. African Plague in Asia in half a century, has killed nearly 550 horses in Thailand, but authorities announced yesterday they’re winning the battle. The Department of Livestock Development says it’s speeding up blood tests on zebras nationwide, after experts identified an imported group as the source of the outbreak.

Some horse owners have threatened to sue the government over lax import rules they say led to the outbreak. As of Thursday, there had been no reported deaths from AHS for 4 consecutive days in any of the 12 provinces affected by the outbreak.

The virus, which is spread by midges, was first discovered on March 25 in Nakhon Ratchasima. More cases were subsequently found in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Chaiyaphum, Ratchaburi, Sa Kaeo, Saraburi, Lop Buri, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Nayok and Chachoengsao.

Horses who contract AHS suffer listlessness, appetite loss, swollen eyes and fever above 38℃. And then, in many cases, death.

In April the government launched a national vaccination programme, aiming to vaccinate all horses within a 50 kilometre radius of known infection sites in the 12 provinces. Currently, 4,796 horses have been vaccinated out of a total 7,999 targeted vaccinations within the next 2 weeks

The outbreak has affected 2,260 horses, sickening 590 and killing 548, he added. Most of the fatalities were in Pak Chong district, Nakhon Ratchasima province, which has recorded 435 deaths, representing 79% of all deaths. The government has advised owners to protect their horses with midge nets.

The virus is not known to harm humans.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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Crime

Millions of meth pills, tonnes of marijuana seized in 3 major drug hauls

Jack Burton

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Millions of meth pills, tonnes of marijuana seized in 3 major drug hauls | The Thaiger
PHOTO: thaivisa

In what is becoming an increasingly common story, police have announced the seizure of millions of methamphetamine pills (ya ba) and more than 2 tonnes of marijuana, among other types of illicit drugs, in 3 major anti-drug operations last week. The head of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau told a press briefing that drug agencies confiscated nearly 1.5 million methamphetamine pills, 2.4 tonnes of cannabis and 6 kilograms of ketamine, and arrested about a dozen suspects.

He says that in the first bust, in Isaan’s Sakon Nakhon province, officers seized about 400 kgs of marijuana, a Hyundai pickup, and arrested 24 year olds Peerapat Chaisunthorn and Chariya Niyompeng. In the second operation, police in Lampang province, near Chiang Rai, arrested 40 year old Songkod Sriharan, 63 year old Chaisri Kongauksorn, and Ratchanok Boonta after a traffic stop while they were making their way to Chiang Mai province. Around 1.5 million ya ba pills were confiscated.

The NSB chief says the 3 are believed to be connected to the same gang of smugglers arrested with 4 million methamphetamine pills in northern Thailand earlier this year.

In the third operation, police in Isaan’s Udon Thani province nabbed 6 suspects and seized two tonnes of marijuana and 6 kgs of ketamine. They were identified as 31 year old Mongkol Chonthanasilp, 48 year old Thanabodee Yakasem, 36 year old Bussayaporn Rangvigee, 35 year old Niroj Mingkwan, 30 year old Boonprom Laknongbu and 38 year old Patracha Taweewan.

Police froze assets suspected to have come from the men’s alleged drug dealings. In May, one of the biggest drug hauls in decades, was made in Myanmar’s Shan state.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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North East

Lucky escape for rafting group after dam floodgate opens – VIDEO

Maya Taylor

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Lucky escape for rafting group after dam floodgate opens – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod

A group of tourists is lucky to be alive after a worker accidentally opened a dam floodgate nearby. The tourists had just seconds to get out of the way, as a tour guide who realised what was happening, yelled a warning at them. Thai Residents reports that the incident happened at the Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani, in the north-east of the country.

It’s understood an employee at the dam opened the floodgate without realising there were people in the water. The rush of water caused one raft to break away from its mooring, as several others rammed into each other, with items on the rafts being flung into the water. Wuttichai Kumchul, a 33 year old tour guide and raft owner, yelled at tourists who were swimming or sitting on rafts, to get out immediately.

“I yelled to the tourists in the water and to those still on the raft to get out of the water. I rushed onto land for safety and told the tourists to do the same. The water was so strong one of the rafts got loose and crashed into other rafts nearby. There is about 10,000 baht in damages from the incident. The tourists that were in the dam are now terrified for their lives.”

The floodgate at the dam is usually opened in the morning for electricity generation, with a warning message sent to raft operators beforehand. However, this time, the floodgate was opened at 3 pm without warning. It is not known if any disciplinary action is being taken against the employee who opened the floodgate.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Crime

Thailand teams with Laos to stop drug trafficking

The Thaiger

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Thailand teams with Laos to stop drug trafficking | The Thaiger

Thailand is reportedly teaming up with Laos to stop drug trafficking after drug syndicates have changed their routes from Myanmar to Laos.

Thailand Narcotics Control Board secretary-general Niyom Termsrisuk, says the direction change was due to heavy policing at the Myanmar-Thai border; causing traffickers to switch routes. The Royal Thai Armed Forces have formed a division to combat drug trafficking in the Thai provinces that border Laos, with 12 teams of officers being deployed.

The ONCB chief says a spike in smuggling was detected in the northeastern borders from Loei to Ubon Ratchathani provinces with Nong Khai, Mukdahan, Bung Kan and Nakhon Phanom provinces seeing the most trafficking.

Methamphetamine, crystal meth, or “ice,” and marijuana were the main drugs being smuggled with 22 million meth pills, 638 kilograms of ice, and 6,240 kilograms of marijuana being seized by Thai authorities over the past year.

Despite the Thai government’s efforts to try and stem smuggled drugs into the country, plenty of them find their way into the inner parts of the country. At the end of May this year, 1 million methamphetamine pills were confiscated in the capital, just one of many drug busts of multiple millions of pills and other illicit drugs.

According to the UNODC Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific…

“It is hard to imagine that organised crime have again managed to expand the drug market, but they have. While the world has shifted its attention to the Covid-19 pandemic, all indications are that production and trafficking of synthetic drugs and chemicals continue at record levels in the region.”

Read more about that report HERE.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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