K.R. Nagar taluk worst hit with 46 deaths so far. There have been 33 deaths in Hunsur taluk, 26 in H.D. Kote taluk and eight in Periyapatna taluk.

There seems to be no respite for cattle in Mysore district as they succumb to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). The toll has now risen to 181.

Among the seven taluks, Nanjangud has remained incident-free as no cattle death has been reported so far.

Though the Department of Animal Husbandry claims to have initiated measures to contain the disease, the toll has nearly doubled within one week.

While the death toll was 91 last Tuesday, it has now increased to 181. The death toll in Mysore taluk has gone up to 35, with an identical number in T. Narsipur taluk.

Deputy Director of Department of Animal Husbandry, Devadas, told The Hindu that K.R. Nagar taluk appears to be the worst hit with 46 deaths. There have been 33 deaths in Hunsur taluk, 26 in H.D. Kote taluk and eight in Periyapatna taluk.

A meeting was convened by Deputy Commissioner C. Shikha here on Tuesday, attended by Chief Executive Officer of zilla panchayat P.A. Gopal, Dr. Devadas and other officials concerned.

Ms. Shikha asked the Animal Husbandry Department to not succumb to any “pressure” from farmers to attribute the recent deaths of their cows, which could have died of other reasons, to FMD. She sought a comprehensive report on the problem within 10 days.

Compensation

Dr. Devadas confirmed he had received a government order on the compensation to be paid to farmers whose cattle had died of FMD.

Accordingly, Rs. 25,000 would be paid for the death of a cow and Rs. 20,000 for a bullock or buffalo.

Of this, Rs. 16,400 would be contributed by the calamity relief fund of the government and the rest would be made good by the respective milk unions under the KMF. Also, Rs. 10,000 would be paid for each calf death.

However, what is still puzzling is the difference between the death toll put forward by the Department of Animal Husbandry and the KMF.

If the official death toll in Mysore district as of Tuesday is 181, the KMF statistics has put it at 1,025, which gives rise to a lot of questions.

The secretaries of milk unions will report to the KMF based on complaints received from farmers about cattle deaths.

According to the KMF, 720 head of cattle have died in T. Narsipur taluk alone, followed by 178 in Mysore taluk, 71 in Nanjangud taluk, 26 in H.D. Kote taluk, 16 in Hunsur taluk and 14 in K.R. Nagar taluk. Periyapatna taluk has not reported any death so far.

Ms. Shikha is said to have asked the committee headed by the tahsildars to strictly verify the death toll.

The committee comprises taluk executive officers, social welfare officers, assistant directors of the Department of Animal Husbandry, and revenue inspectors assisted by the locals.

They are visiting the taluks to conduct ‘mahajars’ to verify the death claims, Dr. Devadas added.

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