PALAKKAD: The State Animal Husbandary Department launched its ambitious programme to eradicate foot and mouth disease across the state on Friday, a reason for the livestock farmers to heave a sigh of relief.
Thousands of cattle were vaccinated on the first day of the drive which was launched in every district. According to the plan, 15 lakh cattle will be vaccinated as part of the 21-day drive, which will end on August 27. “It was after taking the gravity of the issue into account, the Animal Husbandry Department has opted for an early launch of the vaccination drive, this year. Usually, it was conducted at the fag end of the year,” said N N Sasi, director of Animal Husbandry Department.
“Though, the department has been vaccinating the cattle for the last 10 years effective curbing of foot and mouth disease is still a distant dream. And last year, the disease had claimed hundreds of animals,” he said.
As a result, the department has introduced a new system to monitor the mission. “Every day the livestock inspectors, who have been entrust with the task of vaccinating, have to give a daily report to the department through an online system. An ID and password was given to each inspector to update the number of vaccinated cattle and the contact number and details of the farmers concerned. “The updated data will be verified by officials concerned the very next day,” Sasi said.
“Stringent measures have also been initiated at the check posts to prevent vehicles carrying disease-infected cattle to enter the state,” Sasi said.Meanwhile, the farmers told ‘Express’ that they are looking at the vaccination drive with hopes. “Last year, I noticed the symptoms of the disease in one of my cattle. Within days, the disease claimed the cow and spread among other cows also,” said a farmer.