Cases reported from Kolar district and Maddur taluk of Mandya
The death of several head of cattle due to foot-and-mouth disease in the last few weeks in Kolar district has caused panic among farmers.
Though the exact figures are not available with officials of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, it was estimated that more than a 100 head of cattle died of the disease in the last month. Of these, 29 cases were reported from Kolar town and 19 from Rachenahalli in Malur taluk.
In Doddagurki village in Mulbagal taluk, 23 head of cattle, 40 goats and four buffaloes died of the disease. Five head of cattle died in Beechagondanahalli, seven in Vanarasi and eight in Gaddekannur, all in Kolar taluk. However, according to farmers, the actual number of deaths is more.
The visit of Additional Director of the department Nagaraj Shetty and two experts from the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals, Devaraj and Rashmi, a couple of days ago to the district following complaints about the spread of the disease brought to the fore the difference of opinion among officials and staff over vaccination to help prevent the disease.
The team noticed that calves and sheep were also suffering from fever at Vanarasi.
Some officials put the blame on farmers for not getting their livestock vaccinated two times in a year as a precautionary measure. They abstained from getting their livestock vaccinated due to some superstitious beliefs, the officials said. However, insiders in the department allege that officers and staff evinced no interest in motivating farmers to get their livestock vaccinated.
A team of officials comprising Ejaz Ahmad and Sriram Reddy beside Mr. Shetty and Deputy Director B.N. Shivaram visited several areas to take stock of the situation. Blood samples were collected from cattle and sheep.
Some cattle rearing farmers explained to the team that they had to spend thousands of rupees daily to get cure for the suffering livestock. “The government should supply medicines free,” the farmers demanded.
Kolar Zilla Kurubara Horata Samiti president Tyagaraj Muddappa alleged that veterinarians collected money from farmers for vaccination which was ought to be given free. Such doctors should be suspended, he demanded.
“The department officials have failed in creating awareness about vaccination. They did not take the issue seriously,” a farmer alleged during an interaction with officials at Vanarasi.
Mr. Shetty appealed to the farmers to shed superstitious beliefs and get their cattle vaccinated to save them.
Deputy Commissioner D.K. Ravi has directed the authorities not to sit idle on the pretext that farmers were not showing interest. “Find out alternative ways to motivate farmers to get their cattle vaccinated,” he said.
20 deaths in Maddur
M.T. Shiva Kumar from Mandya writes:
At least 20 head of cattle have died of the disease in villages in the vicinity of Lakshmegowdana Doddi in Maddur taluk in the last a few days.
Nearly 100 cattle were affected by the disease in at least 15 villages in the taluk and at lease 20 of them have died.
Three cows of Bore Gowda, Jayaramu and Puttaraju of Lakshmegowdana Doddi, died of the disease on Thursday, sources in the Department of Animal Husbandry said. The farmers have demanded compensation for their loss.
Following the outbreak of the disease, department officials have launched a programme to vaccinate cattle in several villages.