Foot and Mouth disease continues to kill livestock in Srinagar outskirts

‘Absence of vaccination snatching our livelihood'
Foot and Mouth disease continues to kill livestock in Srinagar outskirts
Representational ImageGK Photo

Srinagar, Aug 23: The Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Hazratbaland its adjoining areas on city outskirts continue to inflict losses on farmers in absence of vaccination.

Bilal Ahmed of Burzahama locality said that within last week he lost two cattle to the disease while that last remaining Ox is infected.

“It is incurring a huge loss on us which is both financial and emotional. In the past few days, we lost a cow and a calf from the disease. In addition to the financial loss in thousands, this is an emotional trauma while seeing helpless animals dying of the disease,” Ahmed said.

Some farmers living in Khimber and adjoining areas said that over the past month, the livestock continues to fall to the deadly disease. They said authorities should step up the measures to tackle the issue.

“Only a few weeks ago our neighbor lost three cows in a row. We now fear for the well-being of our cattle. The absence and delay in vaccination this year have made the situation worse. This is the reason that despite all the care, people are losing their livestock,” said Ghulam Nabi, a local from Mulphaq.

A large population on Hazratbal outskirts like Gasoo, Batapora, Khimber, Burzahama, Mulphaq own livestock. They said some of the poor farmers have livelihood depend on it and the outbreak is hitting their livelihood badly.

For more than a month there has been a major outbreak around various districts in Kashmir. Central Kashmir’s Budgam and south Kashmir’s Pulwama have reported a high number of cases. As per the data, until ending July around 18 thousand cattle were reported to have been infected by FMD in Kashmir.

Nodal officer for FMD in Kashmir, Dr Anil Gupta said that they are keeping an eye on the disease that has been unfolding. He said that a host of measures have been taken to counter the disease which has shown positive results.

Gupta who is also Joint Director Institute of Animal Health & Biological production said that the vaccination process is in pipeline. He said soon livestock will be covered under the vaccination around Kashmir.

“The lack of de-worming sometimes decreases the effectiveness of the vaccine. We have informed all the livestock owners about the de-worming process so that vaccination will prove helpful. For the past few weeks, we are continuously keeping records, sending teams to help farmers across Kashmir. In many districts we have succeeded in controlling the disease,” Gupta said.

The officials said that in case of any problem regarding FMD, the farmers should contact the concerned Animal husbandry officers of the area.

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