Expert panel formed to look into death of livestock

The State government has formed an eight-member expert committee which will look into the death of cattle due to the rapidly spreading viral infection of foot and mouth disease.

Animal Husbandry Minister T B Jayachandra said on Monday the committee would investigate the causes for the spread of the disease, and what should be done to prevent it in the future. Dr R N Sreenivas Gowda, the former vice-chancellor of Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries University, will head the panel.

The committee will have to submit its report in the next week for the government to study and arrive at a final conclusion on how to address the problem.

About 2,060 cattleheads have died of the disease. Officially, 15,573 cattle have been reportedly infected by it, the minister said, quoting the latest figures.

It is said that the disease was prevalent mainly in six districts. To control it, a mass-level vaccination drive would be undertaken in the next 10-12 days.

The animal husbandry department has asked a panel of officials to personally accompany government veterinarians for mahazar of cattle which die of the disease.

Jayachandra said the government was insisting on mahazar to ensure the number of cattle deaths were neither “inflated” nor “fake” incidents reported from the affected villages.

Besides the viral infection, Jayachandra said, the shortage of manpower was creating problems for the department in controlling the disease. There are at least 5,500 vacancies in the department, including 4,000 in Group ‘D’ and ‘C’ categories.

The vacancies were hitting it hard in controlling the disease. To address the problem, retired employees would be hired to administer the vaccine, Jayachandra added.

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