TIRUCHY: Cattle rearers have raised an alarm over cattle in large numbers dying in the last few weeks reportedly due to Foot and Mouth Diseases (FMD). Claiming lack of vaccines and not enough medical camps by the Animal Husbandry Department, the rearers have resorted to ‘traditional’ remedies to save their cattle.
Following recent rains, cattle across the Central districts of Tiruchy, Karur and Pudukkottai reportedly suffered from diseases. Cattle rearers claimed that a large number of them succumbed on a daily basis and most of them showed symptoms of FMD such as fever, swelling in legs, etc. However, the Animal Husbandry Department maintained that the impact of the disease was minimal.
A senior official from the department told TNIE that usually all the cattle head will be vaccinated against FMD twice a year. But due to shortage of vaccines and the Covid-19 pandemic, the drive was not conducted for the past one year. The demand for vaccine, however, remains. To tackle infections, about 100 medical camps are set up in the district, the official added. The department is monitoring the areas that reported infection, the official further said.
Thekamalai, a cattle rearer from Vaiyampatti, said, “In the last 10 days alone, nearly 20 cattle head in the village, including three of my cows, died with symptoms of FMD. My cows developed swollen legs and had fever. I treated it for three days, but they died. Some cattle head which were given medical care luckily survived. Others could not withstand the severity of the infection. ” He urged officials to arrange for vaccines immediately and conduct camps to treat the animals.
Kannan, a farmer from Viralimalai in Pudukkottai, said, “More than 10 cattle head, including goats, have died here in two weeks. No vaccine or medical attention is given by the Animal Husbandry department. Hence, we are trying out traditional methods like washing the animal’s feet with hot water, applying turmeric paste, mixing neem leaves paste with its fodder and also conducting fogging using neem leaves in sheds/barns to prevent the spread of the disease.”
Cattle owners in areas such as F Keelayur, and Thogamalai, too, reported deaths due to FMD symptoms and demanded immediate attention.
Activists from Manapparai urged for more camps to bring down cattle deaths and action in getting enough vaccines.