Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), the lifeline of the State’s dairy farmers and the country’s second biggest milk federation, is reeling under severe shortage of veterinarians.

KMF managing director Premnath A.S. disclosed this at a programme organised to observe World Veterinary Day here on Saturday. He said the federation, which had 324 veterinarians, needed an additional 120 to 150 veterinary surgeons. This was in addition to the shortage of about 500 veterinarians in the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services.

He said, “We have a commitment to provide veterinary services at the doorstep of dairy farmers. But the severe shortage of doctors is coming in the way of ensuring quality of such services as it had increased the workload on the existing staff.”

In addition to veterinary services, the shortage of veterinarians was affecting the breeding schemes of the federation, which were crucial for its expansion operations, he said.

“We have managed to tide over the shortage by getting veterinarians from the neighbouring States on contract. But it has now become difficult to get them from those States also,” he said.

Mr. Premnath appealed to Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University Vice-Chancellor C. Renukaprasad to evolve some short-term veterinary courses so that the KMF could get veterinary experts at the earliest.

He told presspersons later that experts had informed him that a short-term course was not the ideal solution. The demand for the veterinarians was so much that it was very difficult to attract them to a federation like the KMF where they have to make frequent visits to villages and also camp there, he said.