NABARD is supporting Rs.2.66-crore project
New buildings are coming up for 10 veterinary dispensaries in Madurai district with funding support of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
The Department of Animal Husbandry is spearheading various initiatives to strengthen veterinary care in the district for which well-equipped buildings are being constructed at cost of Rs.2.66 crore which was provided by NABARD.
I. Chinnathurai, Joint Director in-charge, Department of Animal Husbandry, told The Hindu on Wednesday that the place for new building will be identified in the same village and Public Works Department would start construction work very soon.
The new buildings are coming up for veterinary dispensaries at Thottappanaikanur, M.Kallupatti, S.Melapatti, Kottaiampatti, Sivarakottai, A.Vellalapatti, Thumbaipatti, Kulamangalam, Suleman and Vidathakulam.
For each veterinary dispensary, Rs.26.6 lakh has been allotted towards new building and the total estimate for 10 dispensaries put together is Rs.2.66 crore. The new buildings will be ready in one year.
Dr.Chinnathurai has said that more facilities will be available once the new buildings are ready and treatment of animals will be better as infrastructure will be provided in the dispensary with facilities for lab tests, operation theatre and so on.
Meanwhile, the animal husbandry officials are gearing up to undertake free mass vaccination drive to animals for prevention of foot and mouth disease.
Nearly 2.4 lakh animals including cattle, buffaloes, goats and sheep will be administered the vaccine during July and August since the disease normally strikes from September.
“The foot and mouth disease which is caused by a virus gets easily transmitted. It results in a huge loss to the farmers and milk production. In some cases, the disease will lead to calf mortality. We are ready with a schedule for preventive vaccination across the district,” the Joint Director in-charge has said.
According to department officials here, the Animal Disease Intelligence Unit and the Regional Disease Diagnostic Lab are under preparedness to prevent disease breakout among animals. Prevalence of diseases is being monitored and a surveillance team is ready.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Director of Animal Husbandry A.V.Anbalagan has said that the buffalo population in the district has come down while the white cattle (cows) number had increased.
The 18 Livestock Census figures of 2009 showed that the white cattle population (both exotic and crossbreed) in the district was 2,69,800 as against 1,64,151 in the seventeenth livestock census data. It was an increase of 64.4 per cent.
“Since the water sources such as tanks, ponds and lakes are vanishing, it had a direct impact on buffalo population. Moreover, the farmers and buffalo rearing community were unable to identify properly the thermo regulation in buffaloes.
While womenfolk can manage with cows, they find it difficult to handle buffaloes, which is also a reason for dwindling buffaloes,” Dr.Anbalagan has said.
As per the 17 livestock census figures, there were 12,380 buffaloes in Madurai district while it had come down to 6,205 in the eighteenth census.
But, officials have said that some sort of buffalo migration too would have happened as some of them might be sent to surrounding districts.