SPCA files case against move to kill infected goats

The move to kill goats in a government goat farm at Konmeri in Kannur district, to prevent the spread of Johne’s disease, is facing stiff resistance from the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and veterinarians.

The SPCA has filed a case in the Kannur munsiff court against the Disease Investigating Officer and Department of Animal Husbandry, challenging the decision to kill the goats without even administering them vaccine and medication.

Johne’s disease is an infectious wasting condition of cattle and other ruminants caused by Mycobacterium avium. The symptoms include weight loss and diarrhoea.

The petitioner, P.C. Pradeep, secretary, SPCA, said the farm had more than 80 goats and the officials in charge of the farm had ordered the killing of at least 35 of them. He claimed that there were plans to kill another eight at Parassala in Thiruvananthapuram and more than 10 goats in Attappady.

‘Vaccine available’

He said the officials were insisting on killing the goats though vaccine was available to treat the infected animals. The vaccination is preventive and therapeutic, the petitioner said. Last year, he said, 20 goats were killed by poisoning, which was unscientific and a cruel way to prevent disease spread. Mr. Pradeep said that though the animal can be killed by poison, the bacteria that causes the disease cannot be destroyed.

P.V. Mohanan, retired Assistant Director, Animal Husbandry, too backed the SPCA. The disease, identified in 1950, was not very dangerous to animals or humans, he said. The Central Institute for Research on Goats in Mathura has developed a vaccine against the disease that had been approved by the Drug Control General of Indian and Indian Veterinary Research Institute.

The institute had written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressing willingness for technology transfer to the State government for commercial use, he said.

‘It is global protocol’

However, District Animal Husbandry Officer M.P. Gireesh Babu said vaccination would not eliminate the bacteria in the goat, which could transfer it to other animals. The decision to screen, cull, and eliminate infected animals was taken as per international protocol, he added. He said the institute in Mathura was not producing the vaccine now.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 9:19:45 PM |

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