The Department of Animal Husbandry is on high alert and is taking every possible effort to contain the spread of foot-and-mouth disease that claimed the lives of 38 cows in the last one month in the district.
Six other cows died of various other reasons, Regional Joint Director of Animal Husbandry S. Rajendran said here on Saturday.
The preventive measures would include a ring vaccination, under which all the cattle of a particular area would be vaccinated against the disease even if one of these were found to have the disease. The disease had spread in Hosur, Kaveripattinam and Uthangarai.
The official, however, denied that the disease had acquired epidemic proportions.
The specimens collected from the dead animals were sent to Central Referral Laboratory (CRL) in Chennai and Indian Veterinary Preventive Medicine (IVPM) at Ranipet, where the vaccines are produced for various infections.
Dr. Ganesan said people trusted some native medicine with no proven efficacy, instead of approaching veterinarians.
The native mixture could actually cause fatal problems in the stomach, he explained.
Applying glycerin on the mouth and boric acid on the foot of the cow would offer cure in three days.
After that the animal would start taking food normally, he added.
Explaining the ring vaccination process, the official said that on receiving information about a cow being affected by the disease, a team headed by an Assistant Director of the Animal Disease Investigation Unit (ADVU), would reach the spot with required medicines and laboratory equipment.
If it was established as a case of foot-and-mouth disease, the Assistant Director would give vaccination to all the cattle over an eight-km radius. This way, even the spread of the disease could be confined to that area.
Collector T.P. Rajesh conducted an emergency meeting on Friday with Dr. Rajendran and representatives of the Dharmapuri District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union and gave directions to take all preventive measures.
Dr. Rajendran said the department was conducting routine medical camps for the cattle every year.
During the current year 100 camps were conducted and another forty camps would be conducted before the end of March 2014.