Bangalore Dairy in a spot as foot and mouth disease spreads

The foot and mouth disease has so far claimed lives of 456 cattle in the three districts of Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural and Ramanagar.

Bangalore Dairy, facing a tough time to contain the epidemic, suspects that the foot and mouth disease might have developed a new strain, which might endanger lives of wild animals in Bannerghatta National Park. The dead cattle include 196 cows, 12 buffaloes and 67 calves above six months of age.

Bangalore Milk Union Limited (Bamul) Managing Director Dr P Gurulingaiah said the virus of foot and mouth disease displays a strange character of developing a new strain. To confirm its suspicion, Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) has sent blood samples of cattle suffering from the disease to Veterinary College, Hebbal and Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Limited.

Dr Gurulingaiah and Bamul Chairperson C Manjunath explained the steps taken by KMF to contain the epidemic among cattle. “This time, along with calves, grown-up cattle are also dying, mysteriously. Most of those dead are milk-yielding cows. The animals are dying due to stress resulting in haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS),” Dr Gurulingaiah said.

He said the department has vaccinated three lakh cattle to contain this epidemic, which spreads rapidly through air and saliva, adding that potassium permanganate, zinc oxide, borax powder and washing soda are being supplied to 1,919 dairy societies for 5.67 lakh cattle.

He said the cattle have been insured and that the insurance company pays Rs 40,000 for the death of each cattle, Rs 6,000 for each calf above three months and Rs 3,000 for calf aged below three months. This apart, Bangalore Dairy has paid Rs 7.39 crore to the insurance company. Bangalore Dairy is in touch with the State government and is providing information to Disease Surveillance Cell.

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