The rise of anthrax from the permafrost this summer in Siberia, plus the risk of overgrazing has prompted officials on the Yamal Peninsula of Siberia to plan a mass cull of 250,000 reindeer by years end, according to a Siberian Times report.


As you may recall, over the summer some 2400 reindeer died from the bacterial infection, anthrax, in three separate outbreaks which is believed due to an infected animal from decades ago that was thawed during the warmer temperatures this year in Siberia. The anthrax outbreak also affected dozens of nomads in the region and killed one young boy.

In July, the situation prompted Yamal, Siberia Governor Dmitry Kobylkin to declare a state of emergency in the region where even Russian troops were called in to assist with the situation.

The government is not only concerned about the spread of disease, but they also state that the 730,000 reindeer population is too much to be sustainable. ‘Reindeer livestock numbers in Yamal are too high,’ said Nikolai Vlasov, deputy head of Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia’s Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service.

‘The more dense the animal population is, the worse the disease transfer medium (and) the more often animals get sick. Density of livestock, especially in the tundra areas that are very fragile, should be regulated.’

Slaughtering season in Yamal is in the November-December time frame and this year the cull is expected to be increased to some 250,000, according to the report.