Bannerghatta Park steps up fight against foot-and-mouth disease
By Shyam Sundar Vattam | Published: 01st October 2013 12:02 PM |
Bannerghatta Biological Park authorities are on “high alert” following the death of a male gaur due to secondary infection of foot-and-mouth disease on Sunday. Last week, four spotted deer and a nilgai had succumbed to the disease.
Park’s executive director Raje Gowda told Express, the gaur was healthy five-six days ago but suddenly its condition deteriorated and it died on Sunday. This disease had spread to several villages bordering the park, he added. There were also reports of deaths of several cattle in Ramanagar, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur and adjoining districts.
The Veterinary Department has been requested to vaccinate all cattle to check its outbreak.
The situation is under control and a team of veterinarians are at the park monitoring the health of all the animals, he said. Gowda said this disease surfaces once in four years. This time, it has been wide-spread, he added. Unexpected heavy rains this year is one of the reasons for the outbreak of this disease, he added. Meanwhile, prin cipal chief conservator of forests (Wildlife) G S Prabhu said, “There are more than 150 sambars and over 200 spotted deer in our herbivore safari and it is very difficult to vaccinate them individually. All of them have been kept in a closed enclosure.”
The remaining three Indian gaurs are recovering. Although, elephants are susceptible to this disease, they were vaccinated once in six months.
Prabhu said, villagers are not ready to vaccinate their lactating and pregnant cows out of blind belief. They were not understanding the implications of not vaccinating their cattle. “We are requesting veterinary department to carry out vaccination on war-footing,” he added.
Deputy Conservator of Forests Ranavat, who is in-charge of Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary in Ramanagar district, said the veterinary department has taken up mass vaccination of domestic cattle in the district.