Cattle Disease Spreading Fast in Odisha, Veterinaries Face Vaccine Crunch
SALEPUR:The outbreak of foot and mouth disease of cattle locally called as ‘fatua’ in Nischintakoili block has put the veterinary officials in a tight spot as they face inadequate stock of vaccine coupled with staff crunch.
Officials sources said about 30 cattle have died of the disease in the block during the last two weeks. But, non-official sources put the toll at more than 70. The viral disease was first noticed in Nischintakoili Barik Sahi 15 days back when three cows of a farmer died in one day and later the disease started spreading to other parts of the block.
On being informed, a surveillance team from district veterinary office reached Nischintakoili and took blood samples from 10 affected cattle. After examination, the officials confirmed it as foot and mouth disease.
While the cattle population in 40 gram panchayats of the block is more than 50,000, the local veterinary office had availed only 2,500 vaccines to combat the outbreak. Due to lack of vaccination, the disease is spreading fast.
When contacted, Block Veterinary Officer Dr Basant Kumar Behera said the department does not have adequate stock of vaccine to combat the disease. Considering the situation, the Veterinary Department has supplied 22,500 vaccines for the disease to Nischintakoili Veterinary Office seven days back. But the officials are facing difficulties in conducting vaccination programme due to staff crunch, he added.
Sources said there are 15 Livestock Aid Centres (LACs) in 40 panchayats of the block. While posts of three Livestock Inspector (LI) are lying vacant at Sukarpara, Patapur and Purunapari LACs, the LI of Daudpur LAC is on leave for a long period.
Besides, no LI has been posted in three new LACs which were opened at Katikata, Bandhakatia and Bandhupur about five years back.
Similarly, the posts of Additional Veterinary Assistant Surgeon and Veterinary Assistant Surgeon of Mobile Veterinary Unit are lying vacant since long.