Sixth phase of mass vaccination campaign to start today

Unlike the neighbouring State of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry has remained relatively unaffected by the Foot and Mouth Disease. So far, only 25 cattle in Karaikal have succumbed to the disease in the Union Territory. This is mainly because of the vaccination efforts by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Animal Welfare, Director of the Department P. Padmanabhan said.

For the past three years, the department has been taking efforts to ensure that the foot and mouth disease does not spread.

As per the directions of the Government of India, the Department has been conducting bi-annual vaccinations for the disease. Unlike in other States, in the UT, the Department has been going house to house to conduct the vaccination program.

As a result, the zero prevalence tests that are taken before and after the administration of the vaccine show high levels of antibodies to the disease. It is only the cows that are in the advanced stage of pregnancy that are not administered the vaccine, since often the farmers believe that this could have a negative effect, he said.

Almost all of the cows that have succumbed to the disease in the UT have not been administered the vaccinations. Even then, the cases of foot and mouth have been sporadic, he said.

On Monday, the sixth phase of the mass vaccination campaign will start. On March 3, 4 and 5 it will take place at the Ariyankuppam and Sivaranthagam dispensaries, on March 6, 7, 10, 11 and 12 the vaccinations will continue through the Thattanchavady and Villianur dispensaries.

From March 13 to 19 it will take place at Bahour and Madagadipet. The Kariamanickam dispensary will conduct their vaccination from March 19, 20, 21 and 24; in Thirukkanur from March 20 to 26 and the Puducherry dispensary from March 24 to 28.

At last count, there are over 60,000 cattle that need vaccinations, he said.

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