FMD Outbreak Under Control, Claim Officials
By Express News Service | Published: 02nd December 2013 08:41 AM |
The Spread of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), which threatened to snowball into an epidemic has been contained due to the steps taken by Animal Husbandry Department.
Giving a detailed account on the reasons for the outbreak of FMD this year, officials said the primary reason was the lack of awareness among cattle owners about getting their animals vaccinated during the two spells - March and October.
During the vaccination period (three or four days) the milk yield may decrease. Out of ignorance, owners of milch animals fear that the yield would go down steeply and fail to vaccinate. In most of the cases, cattle which were not vaccinated were those that had perished. Some farmers had left the dead animals in waterways, which in turn, aggravated the spread of the disease.
Despite the deaths due to FMD this year, official sources maintained that the situation was not alarming as claimed in various reports.
The future strategies to avoid recurrence of FMD includes 100 per cent coverage of all animals without omission by motivation through programmes, vaccination of cattle against haemorrhagic septicaemia disease one month prior to the onset of monsoon and added thrust and focus on vaccination.
FMD is prevalent in all neighbouring States - Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The outbreak is virulent in Karnataka where it has claimed an alarming number of cattle. The disease might have spread from border areas, said sources.
However, the officials stoutly deny the charge that its spread into Tamil Nadu was because of the cattle purchased from Karnataka and neighbouring States for the scheme of giving milch cows, goats and sheep to poor families in rural areas free of cost.
“Only after thorough scrutiny and medical check-up, the purchases are made. As such, there is no possibility for FMD spreading through this way,” they said. However, as a precautionary measure, the purchase of cattles for the scheme has been suspended until the outbreak is controlled.
As soon as the outbreak of FMD was known, the Animal Husbandry Department had sent its top officials to the spot and initiated measures to control the spread of the disease at the earliest. Unvaccinated animals had been identified and mopping up operation in the disease-free areas was carried out by several teams.
The TANUVAS found that there was a concurrent infection of another disease called ‘haemorrhagic septicemia’, which gains momentum when the animal is stressed due to FMD. This is also a reason for the death of adult cattle. Scientists from Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) have conducted investigation and collected samples.