Concern as contagious infection affects goats in rural areas

Taking stock: Velam grama panchayat authorities led by panchayat president V.K. Abdulla visiting one of the affected goat farms in their area on Friday.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

With the unavailability of vaccine and lack of adequate number of government veterinary doctors, a contagious viral infection in goats has started troubling a large number of small scale farmers in the rural areas of Kozhikode district. Most of the farmers now depend on the service of private doctors to administer the vaccine, which costs ₹400 a shot.

Farmers from Velam panchayat, which reported the highest number of cases, said the veterinary doctors in their area were working as sectoral magistrates as part of the additional COVID-19 duty. The government should at least consider the deployment of additional veterinary doctors or should relieve the veterinary doctors from COVID-19 duty to meet the crisis, they said.

Following the farmers’ complaints, the Velam grama panchayat authorities visited some of the affected areas and discussed possible solutions with higher authorities. They said a veterinary doctor from Kunnummal block panchayat was brought to the spot to administer the first shot of the vaccine in 40 affected goats. Additional vaccines would be required to administer the second and third shots to those animals, they said.

“The viral infection has been reported from different locations in Kerala. What we want now is the required quantity of vaccines for saving the affected animals. There should be enough doctors to handle this vaccination process,” said Velam grama panchayat president V.K. Abdulla. He said farmers would not be able to afford the services of private doctors and private medicine suppliers. He said the skin disease was found causing serious disfigurement in goats with scabs around the lips, muzzle and mouth.

Officials from the Animal Husbandry Department said the spread of the disease had been confirmed from different parts of Kerala and effective treatment was available for saving the animals. “It reportedly spread through the infected livestock brought here from other States. Measures are in place to get the required quantity of vaccines for effective treatment,” they added.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 1:38:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/concern-as-contagious-infection-affects-goats-in-rural-areas/article32933496.ece

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