Staff Correspondent

Graduates from veterinary colleges in Bangalore and Bidar to be recruited

Manipal: Minister for Medical Education and Animal Husbandry V.S. Acharya on Sunday said 250 veterinary doctors would be appointed in the State in April.

He was speaking after inaugurating a seminar on diseases affecting hens, organised by the district unit of the State Veterinary Doctors' Association and the District Poultry Owners' Association, here.

Dr. Acharya said there were 577 vacancies of veterinary doctor in 2001. Applications were called for 250 posts for which 391 had applied. There were now 1,018 vacancies in the State.

The State Government had decided to appoint doctors who had graduated from veterinary colleges in Bangalore and Bidar.

Rumours of bird flu had badly affected the poultry industry. There was no case of bird flu in the State. The Government was keeping a close watch even on bird sanctuaries in the State. Every day, a meeting of top officials was being held.

Test report

He said that there were reports of death of a large number of hens from Javalli village in Shimoga district recently. The samples of these hens were sent to a laboratory in Bhopal. The report received on Sunday said they had tested negative for the bird flu virus. Dr. Acharya said as the poultry industry was facing a crisis, the Government was thinking of re-scheduling loan repayment of poultry farmers. The poultry industry was getting subsidy till 1996, after which it was stopped.

Now was the time to revive the poultry industry by giving it a subsidy of Rs. 60 to Rs. 70 crores.

The poultry farmers had made a demand for maize, the main food of poultry birds. The Government would make arrangements to provide it by procuring it from Food Corporation India, Dr. Acharya said.

Vice-Chancellor of Karnataka Veterinary and Fisheries University R.N. Srinivasa Gowda said India stood fourth in the world in the production of eggs and fifth in the production of chicken meat.

The annual turnover of the industry was Rs. 36,000 crores. The poultry industry provided direct employment to 10 lakh people and indirect employment to seven lakh people.