CHIKMAGALUR: Ramachandra, Deputy Director in the Department of Animal Husbandry, said here on Monday that there are a number of vacancies in his department in the district, which need to be filled up.

He told presspersons that vacant posts included that of an Assistant Director, 32 doctors, 12 supervisors, 11 livestock inspectors, 20 assistants and 82 Group "D" employees.

Dr. Ramachandra said the number of cross breed cows in the district has increased by 32 per cent, according to the 2003 Census. The number of the local breeds and buffaloes has decreased by 11 per cent. This is because farmers preferred imported livestock because of high yield of milk.

He said there is no shortage of medicines and there were 142 veterinary hospitals in the district, which worked out to one hospital per 500 cattle. Measures had been taken to prevent foot-and-mouth disease. He said one lakh vaccinations have been administered and 20,000 kept on standby.