FMD: Checkpost Screening Blamed
By Express News Service | Published: 14th December 2013 09:35 AM |
The spread of Foot and Mouth disease in the district is on account of the poor screening facilities at check posts, according to sources in the animal husbandry department. A total of 79 farm animals, including pigs have perished in the district in the last six months. Another 1,214 animals have been infected. They include 352 pigs and 11 goats.
Dairy farmers in the district lost about `18 lakh on account of the disease, sources said.
Incidence of FMD began to be reported in the district from July this year.
The disease was first reported in Vannapuram and then spread to Kudayathoor, Devikulam, Munnar, Marayoor, Kumily, Rajakkad and is now concentrated in Udumbanoor. The cattle are mainly transported through Kumily, Cumbumettu and Bodimettu checkposts, where presently there is a ban on movement of the cattle due to disease.
Department sources said the infected cattle are finding their way into the district because the authorities are taking for granted the medical certificates issued by a veterinary doctor in Tamil Nadu.
The certificates are either fake or given without proper investigation about the health of the cattle, sources said. To counter this risk, the state government should have facilities at check posts to immunize the cattle and monitor them for 21 days.
Enough space should be provided to keep the cattle near the check post for 21 days. If the cattle show symptoms of disease they can be denied entry. The department began distributing relief to the affected farmers on Friday. Around 1,000 bags of cattle feed will be distributed. The situation would become worse and the government would have to spend heavily on providing relief to the affected dairy farmers, the officials said.