KOCHI: Prevention and control of animal diseases in the State, where the prevalence rate is very high, has been a big challenge for officials of the Animal Husbandry Department.
To address the issue, the Department is planning a slew of initiatives as part of reorganising and strengthening veterinary services to give as much importance to health delivery services as to project works.
The reorganising and strengthening is being done with a Central assistance of Rs 4.1 crore. The action plan will incorporate prevention of emerging diseases, in addition to checking the existing ones. Incidence of emerging disease like theileriosis and four-five cattle testing positive for tuberculosis (TB) recently at a farm in Kollam are a matter of concern for the officials.
“The officials are often forced to compromise on health delivery while giving attention to project works. There needs coordination in the panchayat and block levels to ensure equal focus on both. At the block level, the Department has no system to coordinate,” said a source in the Department.
In Kerala, more than 93 per cent of the livestock is cross-bred, unlike in the other states, which increases the possibility of high disease prevalence.
“There are many concerns to be addressed. The most important aspect of health delivery is providing timely treatment before the disease affects the farmer’s business. A health delivery group at the block level should be developed. A veterinarian’s timely intervention will be ensured while developing this. At present, the Local Self Government Department is doing the coordination work. But, we have to envisage our own action plan and associate it with that of the LSGD,” said animal husbandry director S Chandrankutty.
The project works include cattle preservation and development of farms and poly clinics. A couple of discussions were held in connection with rolling out the reorganisation project.