Polio campaign template to fight diseases in livestock

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Rs 12,652 crore national animal disease control programme at Mathura. PTI

Centre has picked up the template of its hugely successful polio campaign, to eradicate foot and mouth disease and brucellosis in livestock.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Rs 12,652 crore national animal disease control programme at Mathura on Wednesday, aimed at vaccinating more than 50 crore livestock, including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs against foot and mouth disease.

The programme also aims at vaccinating 3.6 crore female bovine calves annually against brucellosis disease.

According to officials, the success rate of the vaccination exercise was low because of incomplete and non-synchronised coverage as well as untimely budgeting by the state government for procurement of the vaccines.

The government aims to control the diseases by 2025 and eradicate them completely by 2030.

"The programme will be implemented on the lines of the polio campaign with a focus on improved social mobilisation," a senior official said.

At the first meeting of the Union Cabinet after being elected for a second term, the Modi government had decided to convert the national animal disease control programme into a Central scheme, with the central government bearing the entire cost.

A cow or a buffalo, if infected by the foot and mouth disease, is unable to give milk for up to four to six months. In the case of Brucellosis, the milk output reduces by 30%, during the entire life cycle of the animal.

Brucellosis also causes infertility amongst the animals and the infection can also be transmitted to the farmworkers and livestock owners.

Both diseases have a direct negative impact on the trade of milk and other livestock products.

In case of foot and mouth disease, the scheme envisages vaccination coverage to 30 crore bovines (cows-bulls and buffaloes), 20 crore sheep/goat and one crore pigs at six months’ interval along with primary vaccination in bovine calves.

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