The Animal Husbandry Department has stepped up surveillance in border villages of Udumalpet block in the wake of outbreak of ‘foot and mouth’ disease in neighbouring Kerala State.
Three veterinary doctors have been entrusted with the task of verifying symptoms for foot and mouth disease in the villages. So far, no case of animal infection has been reported, Animal Husbandry Department Assistant Director at Udumalpet, V. Jayaram, said.
Veterinary doctors are keeping a watch in the villages during evening hours through random checks on alternate days. Currently, the cattle heads are being administered vaccine for lumpy skin disease, Dr. Jayaram said.
During March, the cattle were vaccinated against the disease, and the next round of vaccination will be carried out in September.
The outbreak of the disease reported in over 10 districts in Kerala has been attributed to Asia 1, a serotype virus.
“The vaccines being administered in Tamil Nadu twice a year offer protection against four strains of the virus including Asia 1,” Kousalya, Assistant Director, Animal Intelligence Unit, Tiruppur, said.
According to the officials, preventive measures are necessitated since the outbreak of the virus causes financial setback to the livestock farmers due to less milk yield, and instances of mortality though deaths occur only in rare cases. The cattle recover eventually after the vaccine dosages, Dr. Kousalya said.
The Central Government has categorised the disease as an important economic disease as more than causing deaths, it adversely affects the productivity of the affected livestock in terms of milk and meat production. Immunisation of the cattle against the disease is being carried out under the Livestock Health and Disease Control Programme (LHDCP). The government aims to control this disease by 2025 and to completely eradicate it by 2030.