A portrait of life in Mongolia is not complete without livestock. For city dwellers and nomads alike, more than 70 million animals are an essential source of food, income and cultural symbols for this country of barely three million inhabitants. Yet livestock owners like Batbaatar Chuluun are calm about highly contagious animal diseases. That’s thanks to Mongolia’s comprehensive animal disease control system built in part with support from the IAEA, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
“I don’t worry about my animals or the diseases. If my animals get sick, the local vet will come and help me and will know what to do. I know the government is ready and can help,” said Chuluun, a nomadic farmer from just outside the capital city Ulan Bator, who owns a few hundred cattle, goats and sheep. He relies on the meat and milk of these animals for his income and for feeding his family.