Vaccination, topography keep foot and mouth disease away

‘Over 97 pc of cattle have been covered under the drive conducted from August 1 to September-end’.

In spite of anxieties over foot and mouth disease affecting cattle in the State, Dakshina Kannada district has remained away from the scene as there was no major outbreak of the disease in the districts, thanks to vaccination drive and topography of the district.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Department of Animal Husbandry Deputy Director Dr Halagappa said that only three to four incidents of foot and mouth disease has been reported in the district. No death has been reported. Unlike the districts in rest of Karnataka, there is no outbreak of the disease in the district, he added.

However, as soon as the cases were reported, the animals in two to three kilometre radius of the village were subjected to ring vaccination against the disease, to check the outbreak of the disease in the village. All the officials from the department and KMF have been directed to be cautious and vigilant in the district.

Barring these three to four incidents, the district is not susceptible to the disease. Over 97 per cent of the cattle and livestocks including pigs and goats have been covered under the vaccination drive conducted from August 1 to September-end. At the same time, topography of the region also helped to check the disease. The cattle are scattered in the district unlike in Kolar and Hassan districts. Similarly, heavy rain that lashes across the district also checks the spread of the disease here, he added.

The Karnataka Milk Federation and farmers’ societies have been sensitised. Farmers have been told to defer their purchase of cattle from outside the district for around six months, as there is all possibilities among the farmers in affected areas selling the infected cattle.  He said “fodder transportation should be checked. If there was any contamination in the fodder, then there are all possibilities for the spread of the disease.”

He said “if the farmers come across outbreak of the disease in any part of the district, then samples should be tested at Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Mangalore, to help the officials to take mass vaccination programme in and around the affected village.”

Stating that the State government has already announced compensation for the deceased cattle, Dr Halagappa said that a committee has been formed with Tahsildar, Assistant Director and Taluk Panchayat EO as its members to disperse the compensation.

The farmers must produce report of post mortem conducted by the KMF veterinary doctors to claim the compensation. Even the PDO can also conduct ‘panchanama’ at the village-level and issue a certificate. The compensation will be strictly for only deceased cattle and not the infected cattle,” he said.

Symptoms

Excessive salivation, increase in body temperature, formation of ulcer in gum pads and tongue, lesion in udder, foot and mouth are some of the symptoms.

The affected cattle will not be able to chew fodder owing to ulcer in tongue. Intake of food will come down drastically, leading to physical weakness. Over a fortnight the health condition would deteriorate drastically.

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