Both central and State governments have funded a project called outreach to popularise Ethno Veterinary medicine and research said P. Thangaraju, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University here on Monday.

Speaking at the international conference on ethno veterinary practices organised jointly by the University, a Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Mr. Thangaraju said the central and State governments have allotted Rs. 80 lakh and Rs. 18 lakh respectively, for establishing an Ethno Veterinary research centre in Thanjavur under the programme. The centre is functioning at present at the University extension centre building till a new building is made ready. Such centres have been established in six other states in the country.

Ethno Veterinary medicine has great scope in treating the village livestock by local healers. A vast body of knowledge of traditional medicine exists in India from ancient times. Out of the 70 million flowering and non-flowering plant species in the world, 45,000 (6.43 per cent) existed in India. Majority of these plants possessed medicinal properties and about 2,000 of the plant species figure in literature. The traditional healers used nearly 750 plants.

The herbal global market is estimated at approximately 60 billion U.S. dollars with an annual growth rate of seven to 12 per cent. It is expected to be five trillion U.S. dollars by 2050. Currently the share of Indian Herbal products in the world market is less than two per cent which is no match to the rich biodiversity and traditional knowledge the country possessed. This is because of a lack of scientific validation of traditional herbal formulation for their efficacy, quality, safety, potency and stability, the Vice-Chancellor said.

M.S. Shanmugham, District Collector, said that what is modern today becomes traditional tomorrow. A holistic fusion of science is taking place in the world now. Ethno veterinary practices can provide a low cost health care to livestock in rural areas.

The Collector released a CD on Ethno veterinary practices. Thangaraju, VC, TANUVAS received the CD.

M. Rajendran, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil University, said that Sangam literature referred to 34 animals and 200 plants. Gods and goddessess in the Hindu pantheon are associated with animals and birds. Livestock was an integral part of human life from time immemorial.

Dr. Rajendran released the compendium of papers to be presented at the conference.

Darshan Shankar, Founder, FRLHT, B. Murali Manohar, Director, TANUVAS, Evelyn Mathias, Veterinary expert from Germanym Dr. N. Punnniyamurthy, Organising secretary of the conference also spoke.