Survey to enumerate cattle deaths caused due to foot-and-mouth disease sought

A group of farmers from villages in and around Somarasampettai, about 15 km from here, staged a demonstration at Chinnakulam village demanding enumeration of deaths of head of cattle caused by foot-and-mouth disease and sanction of compensation to the affected farmers.

The farmers had come with their animals, some of them said to be affected by the viral disease, to stage the demonstration at the village.

Puliyur A. Nagarajan, president, Tamil Nadu Horticulture Crop Producers Association, who led the agitation, said the government should sanction a compensation of Rs. 30,000 for every cow and Rs. 10,000 for every goat which had died because of the disease.

Claiming that quite a few animals had died because of the disease in Puliyur, Posampatti, Vayalur, Somarasampettai, and Thayanur areas, Mr. Nagarajan alleged that village administrative officers were refusing to register the deaths attributing them to the disease.

“They are demanding post-mortem certificates from veterinarians and the affected farmers cannot run around to get the formalities done. The Revenue Department should carry out a thorough enumeration and register the deaths,” he said.

He demanded that the Animal Husbandry Department intensify its measures to prevent spread of the disease.

When contacted, a senior district officer maintained that there had been only three deaths of head of cattle in the district so far because of the disease.

There was no death due to the disease in the villages cited by the agitators, they said and added that the deaths of animals owing to other reasons in the recent past are now attributed to foot-and-mouth disease.

Officials disagree

Joint Director of Animal Husbandry I. Chinnadurai said he had personally visited many of the villages where the animals were said to be affected by the disease.

There had been no deaths in the villages because of the disease and about 60 ailing animals were responding well to treatment.

Affected animals were recovering within two to three days on treatment. Deaths, if any, could be attributed to the foot-and-mouth disease only after post-mortem, he said.

He reiterated that the situation in the district was under control thanks to the massive vaccination drive. Only animals in advanced pregnancy and calves that were less than three months old, which were not vaccinated, were affected now, he said.