Ernakulam District Fights FMD Tooth and Nail
By Express News Service | Published: 17th December 2013 09:09 AM |
The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has been brought under control and the mortality rate is coming down in the district, according to the Department of Animal Husbandry. So far, 170 heads of cattle have been reported dead in Ernakulam and the officials concerned said that though the situation is under control, the virus causing the disease is still at large in most parts of the region. Diary farmers should take necessary precautions,including the vaccination drive, to prevent the spread of the disease.
The major areas affected with FMD in Ernakulam are Kunnathunadu taluk, Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam, Aluva, Kalady, Manjapra, Kizhakkambalam, Rajamangalam and Manjappetty. As per the data provided by the Department of Animal Husbandry, the panchayats in the district, including Kadamakkudy, Mattanchery, Cherai, Palluruthy, Oonukallu, Oonjappara, Varapetty, Kolenchery, Vengola (West), Kombanad and Arappuzha, are also in the list of FMD-hit areas during the recent outbreak.
“We have already started distributing the compensation to the farmers who have lost their cattle to the disease. A sum of `20,000 will be given for the loss of each cattle. The adult cattle often dies of secondary infections after losing the immunity in the virus attack. We are providing treatment for secondary infections and also supplying four packets of cattle feed weighing 50 kg for the affected cattle,” said Ernakulam District Animal Husbandry Officer Paul T Kunnath.
He said that the FMD usually spreads either through the feeds, contact with the milker or from animals carrying the disease. “In Ernakulam, a majority of the cases were reported in areas near slaughterhouses and cattle market, and through calves of buffaloes brought from other districts.
Usually, the disease affects the cattle breeds. However, this year, there were cases in which goats were also affected,” he said.
The Department had already started awareness campaigns for diary farmers. “Awareness on the disease is very important. The cattle should not not be allowed to graze in open places. The milker should use gloves while milking the cows. We have also cautioned the farmers against buying cattle from other states,” he said.