Foot and mouth disease reported in Hassan

The outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) among cattle in Hassan has left both farmers and veterinarians worried.

Cases have been reported from Arkalgud, Arsikere, Channarayapatna and Sakleshpur taluks. While the farming community, depending on cattle for regular income, are worried about their livelihood, the veterinarians are struggling hard to provide treatment, amidst a shortage of staff members.

The Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry has reported over 150 cases in the district so far. As of Friday, the animals in 16 villages of the district are being treated. So far the death of one animal had been reported. However, farmers claim more animals have died over the last one month. The death of cattle has an impact on milk production, affecting milk producers.

The vaccination for cattle is done once in six months under the National Animal Disease Control Programme. However, the vaccination drive was not done in the last one year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The outbreak of foot and mouth disease is due to the failure of the government in conducting the vaccination. If the vaccination had been done as per the schedule, farmers would not have suffered”, H.Yoga Ramesh, president of Potato Club in Arkalgud, told media.

Following reports of the disease, veterinarians have been treating affected animals. “Against 24 sanctioned posts of veterinary doctors in Arkalgud taluk, we are only five people. Every doctor is in charge of two or more hospitals. We are struggling hard to treat animals”, said a veterinarian.

Unless the vacancies were filled up the department cannot deliver services fully. There was a shortage of staff members of other cadres as well, he added.

Ring vaccination

Considering the cases, the department has launched a ring vaccination programme. Under this, the animals in a five-kilometre radius of the village, where the disease breakout was reported, would be vaccinated. “We have sufficient stock for the ring vaccination. We are planning a mass vaccination in October, where we will cover 6.58 lakh animals,” said K.R. Ramesh, Deputy Director of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry in Hassan.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2022 11:28:24 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/foot-and-mouth-disease-reported-in-hassan/article36652024.ece