Members of the Karnataka Veterinary Association carried out their threat of en masse resignations. Close to 1,700 veterinary surgeons tendered their resignations to the Commissioner of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences Department here on Saturday. The move was made in retaliation to the government’s failure to fulfil their demand of implementing the recommendations of a high-power committee.

T. Sreenivasa Reddy, president of the association, said that another 200 surgeons were expected to submit their resignations in a day or two.

“The Commissioner assured us that the signals from the government are positive and our issues will be addressed positively in about five days. We have decided to give the government time till October 3, after which they will have to accept our resignations,” he said.

The association consists of 3,500 members, including doctors working in the fields of milk, food and in universities. The members began their agitation on September 10. As part of their non-cooperation movement, they decided to abstain from the national Livestock Census that began on September 15. It will end on October 15.

“The census has not started in Karnataka. We have assured the government that if our demands are met, we will complete the census in 10 days,” he said.

He also added that though they have submitted their resignations, the surgeons will continue to attend farmers’ complaints, as well as carry out duties such as administering vaccinations and conducting treatments.

The surgeons are demanding the implementation of the recommendations of the committee headed by Meera Saxena. The then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had announced the implementation of the report on reorganisation of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services in his budget on agriculture for 2011-12 by May last year. Subsequently, a high-power committee was constituted under the government to examine the report and submit its recommendations, which was done in September 2011.

Among the recommendations of the committee are upgradation of veterinary dispensaries to veterinary hospitals; creation of senior assistant directors of veterinary associations in all taluks, special postgraduation allowance and setting up of polyclinics in all their headquarters. The committee had also recommended that veterinary surgeons should be extended salary and allowances on a par with those serving in the Health and Family Welfare Department.