`Control of animal diseases imperative for public good'

CHENNAI DEC. 7. Control of animal diseases is an international public good, R. Kadirvel, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, said here.

"In order to safeguard livestock development and permit legitimate participation in local, regional and international trade, and to diminish the risk of epizootics, the Indian Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine must heed to call for coordinated measures for prevention and progressive control of animal diseases and zoonoses."

He was addressing a symposium on "emerging trends in livestock and companion animal diseases with special emphasis on poultry".

Animal husbandry accounted for six per cent of the gross domestic product and 27 per cent of agricultural GDP in the country. A main impediment to further growth was animal diseases. In the last 15 years, infectious and vector-borne animal diseases had become increasingly important worldwide and disease emergencies were occurring with increasing frequency. Small ruminant diseases were a priority area for epidemiological studies as the producers of veterinary and poultry products included a large number of small and marginal farmers.

P.Thangaraju, Madras Veterinary College Dean, said livestock production in the country had increased manyfold in the last two decades, thanks to high yielding animals and intensive husbandry practices.

"As a result, the livestock is constantly under production stress and is more susceptible to specific diseases, which result in production losses". The veterinary profession had a major responsibility in keeping the livestock healthy to assure maximum production.

S.K. Garg, Vice-Chancellor, Pandit Deen Dayal Veterinary University, Mathura, participated in the programme, jointly organised by the Department of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Madras Veterinary College; the TANUVAS and the Indian Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.

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