The district administration has temporarily banned cattle markets in the wake of foot-and-mouth disease claiming the lives of hundreds of head of cattle in the last few days.

Deputy Commissioner D.K. Ravi said an order had been issued under Section 20 of the Karnataka Animal Diseases (Control) Act 1961. “The markets were banned as a precautionary measure to prevent the sale of infected cattle,” he said. The disease is contagious in nature.

Weekly cattle markets are being held at Rojenahalli (Wednesday) and Gownipalli (Tuesday), both in Srinivaspur taluk; and Bangarpet (Friday), Mulbagal (Tuesday), and Chikkatirupathi (Saturday) in Malur taluk.

Health and Family Welfare Minister U.T. Khader has directed the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences to submit a report in a week.

At a review meeting at the Deputy Commissioner’s office on Thursday, Mr. Khader took officials to task for their alleged failure to encourage farmers to get their live stock vaccinated.

As many as 142 head of cattle died of the disease in the district and 845 were recovering, Mr. Ravi said. However, the figure was much higher than the reported one, he added.