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Vaccination contains spread of foot-and-mouth in Tiruchi

S. Ganesan
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Over 3.10 lakh heads of cattle administered vaccination since September 15

The Animal Husbandry Department has stepped up vigil against the spread of foot-and-mouth-disease among cattle in the district.

With about 3.10 lakh heads of cattle being vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease over the past one month, the department officials say the efforts have paid off in keeping the spread of the viral disease under check to a large extent in the district so far.

There has been only one death in the district so far at Theerampalayam near Manachanallur about a week ago. Although 80 other heads of cattle were reported to have been affected by the disease, mostly in Manachanallur and Lalgudi blocks, they have been treated and were doing fine, officials said.

“We have vaccinated 3,10,350 heads of cattle since September 15 and the early intervention has contained the disease. The district Collector had instructed panchayat heads to coordinate with us and ensure that all cattle were vaccinated without much omission. Only cattle in advanced pregnancy, which were not vaccinated owing to farmers apprehensions, and some bought from other districts in the intervening period seem to be affected now,” said I. Chinnadurai, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry, Tiruchi.

The affected cattle were from Theerampalayam, Bikshandarkovil, Akkaraipatti, Ayyampalayam, Thillampatti, and Valadi. Sporadic cases had been reported from places such as Maruthandakurichi and Kuzhumani. As the disease has just started spreading in the district, it was essential that officials keep a close vigil to prevent its spread, a few farmers said.

Stating that adequate quantity of medicines for the disease had been moved to all veterinary dispensaries in the district, Dr. Chinnadurai said that farmers should take the animals displaying symptoms of the disease to the nearest veterinary dispensary immediately.

Symptoms include drooling (of saliva from mouth), ulcers in gums, and ulcers between hoofs in the feet. Affected cattle will exhibit difficulty in walking and eating.“Farmers need not panic and the disease could be cured in two or three days if they take the cattle to the veterinary dispensary,” he said.

Dr. Chinnadurai, who was visiting villages regularly over the past few days, said that four teams, with veterinary doctors and support staff, have been formed to visit the villages and monitor the situation in the district.

Conceding that the disease has been largely under control in the district, N. Ganesan, Joint Secretary, Tamil Nadu Milk Producers’ Welfare Association, said the efforts taken by the Animal Husbandry Department had helped contain its spread. “Although the disease has spread virulently in the delta and a few other Western districts, it has not spread much in Tiruchi district so far. We hope the efforts of the Animal Husbandry Department will continue to keep the disease under control,” he said.

Officials have been advising farmers against buying animals from other districts at least for the next one month as it could give scope for the spread of disease from the affected animals. Some of the farmers’ associations have been also trying to sensitise villagers to this.

“It is essential that farmers refrain from buying cows from other districts at least and we have been trying to sensitise farmers about this,” said Mr. Ganesan.

80 teams in Tiruvarur

Special Correspondent reports:

Tiruvarur district collector S. Natrajan visited villages where cattle were affected by the disease and inspected the works taken up by special teams on Tuesday. He visited Keeranur, Kaduvetti, Pillur, Vadagudi, Vaazhkkai, Kandiramanickam, Prathabharamapuram, Manjakudi, Simizhi, and Koradachery.

He inspected the treatment given to the affected cattle by veterinary teams in these villages.

The Collector said that 80 teams with veterinary surgeons, veterinary inspectors, and veterinary assistants have been formed to give treatment and take preventive steps against the disease in the district. Treatment was given to the wounds of the animals, the collector said.

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