There was a marginal dip in milk procurement levels in Madurai Aavin, officials said on Thursday.

Even as rumours of cattle falling prey to foot-and-mouth disease were spreading in Vadakku Navinipatti and a few places surrounding Melur near Madurai, the officials from the Department of Animal Husbandry and a team of experts from the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai, camped at these villages and interacted with the people.

The officials said they had created awareness among the people of the preventive measures to be taken to save their cattle and instilled confidence in them at this crucial hour.

According to Aavin General Manager Christie, the normal milk procurement level was around 1.75 lakh litres per day during this season. Apart from Madurai, Aavin procured milk from neighbouring Theni district as well, he noted.

The scare of spread of foot-and-mouth disease and the intermittent rains had resulted in a marginal dip in milk procurement. Milk procurement dropped from 1.80 lakh litres to 1.75 lakh litres within two days, another official pointed out.

Except for Melur region, the procurement was almost steady from the other areas. There seemed to be no big threat from the disease, he asserted.

Joint Director (Animal Husbandry) A. Babuji said the officials had conducted a series of campaigns on the safety measures to be taken. So far, 1.80 lakh doses of vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease had been administered to the cattle in the district.

“The animals left out of the massive exercise – around 4,000 – would be covered soon. All veterinarians had been asked to sensitise the people in this regard,” he said.

Dr.K. Kumanan of the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University said bio-security measures like the sprinkling of bleaching powder and other chemical fluids would control the spread of any disease to a certain extent. It was the strategy to eliminate viruses, he added.

Special meetings

Collector L. Subramanian said special gram sabha meetings were organised in all the 420 village panchayats in the district in the last two days.

“The entire official machinery in the district is geared up to tackle any situation,” he added.

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