SAMBALPUR: An intensive vaccination campaign is underway in Sambalpur Forest Division to protect wild animals and livestock against hemorrhagic septicemia (HS) and other bacterial diseases. As many as 174 forest fringe villages frequented by elephants have been identified for the vaccination drive.
Divisional forest officer (DFO), Sambalpur Sanjeet Kumar said HS is common among the livestock but sporadic in wild animals. Due to the recent HS outbreak in Kalahandi’s Karlapat wildlife sanctuary, it was decided to conduct the camps to prevent any such situation in Sambalpur division.
Around 60 elephants inhabit the forest fringe villages under the division. The 174 identified villages have been divided under three priority categories and vaccination will be conducted in a phased manner. Forest officials are assisting the veterinary department to coordinate the vaccination campaign and facilitate other required logistics.
Currently, there are around 7,000 doses of vaccine available with the chief district veterinary office. As part of the campaign, door-to-door survey is being conducted in the villages to enlist the cattle and other livestock with each family and subsequently, vaccinate for HS. Members of Vana Suraksha Samitis (VSSs) and NGOs associated with the Forest department are assisting in creating awareness among villagers.
Kumar said, villagers usually have a false notion that milk output decreases if lactating livestock are vaccinated. Besides, most people do not prefer vaccinating old and unproductive livestock. The VSS and NGO members have been engaged to motivate the villagers to vaccinate all the animals.
“It is important to vaccinate all the livestock because spread of the bacterial disease among wild animals is a rare phenomenon and we are still unaware about the transmission. Through the vaccination drive, we plan to curb any possibility of the bacteria spread to a large extent,” he added.