Foot and mouth disease (FMD) has claimed the life of 28 cattle in the district so far. The Department of Animal Husbandry has identified Shimoga, Bhadravathi and Shikaripur taluks as the worst affected areas. So far, more than 400 cattle have been infected with FMD. Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry Department R.R. Ravindra told The Hindu that the pace at which the virus was spreading has come down in the district and the situation was now under control.

The department has maintained ample stock of analgesic, anti-biotics and B complex medicines used to treat the cattle infected with FMD, he said. The infected animal should be separated from the herd, the mouth of the infected animal should be washed with sodium bicarbonate and the cattle shed should be cleaned with washing soda. A training programme on providing treatment for the FMD was held for veterinary doctors and field staff of the department, he said.

Farmers have been asked not to purchase cattle from unknown sources to contain the spread of the disease. The weekly cattle fair initially scheduled to be held in Ayanur and Shiralakoppa are suspended till the disease is brought under control, he said.

According to existing guidelines, Rs. 25,000 will be provided as compensation for the death of a milching cow of mixed breed, Rs 20,000 for an ox and Rs 10,000 for the death of a calf. The compensation will be provided only for the cattle that die even after availing treatment. The death should be confirmed by the local village accountant, Panchayat development officer, veterinary doctor and a representative of Karnataka Milk Federation. Mr. Ravindra said compensation will be provided for the farmers in an expedited manner.