Foot-and-Mouth Disease takes toll on Dairy Farming in Pulwama

Foot-and-Mouth Disease takes toll on Dairy Farming in Pulwama
File Photo [Image for representational purpose only]

Pulwama: Dairy farmers in Pulwama are worried lot due to mounting interest on loan taken from banks in Pulwama due to looming Foot-and-Mouth Disease which has impacted cows in most of villages.

Manzoor Ahmad Beigh, a 30-year unemployed youth from Dadoora village of Pulwama was toying with the idea of starting his own enterprise for long and finally a few months ago he set up a dairy farm after taking a loan of Rs 15 lakh from a bank.

Beigh started with three cows and later purchased six more cows as the business seemed promising. However, a few weeks ago things turned topsy-turvy for him after his cows suddenly began perishing. And in less than 15 days, Beigh lost six cows.

“ They died one by one and according to experts foot-and-mouth disease ( FMD) was the cause of their death,” said Beigh.

The disease has spelt doom for the cows in Dadoora and Kangan villages of the district in past few weeks.

According to the residents, around 50 to 60 cows died recently in these two villages and a total of 150 cows perished since the beginning of this year across Pulwama district.

Over the past few years, the district has emerged as the highest producers of milk in Jammu and Kashmir. The area produces more than 8.5 lakh litters of milk daily.

"Many of us took loans under Integrated Dairy Development Schemes( IDDS) and set up farms, but we all are running huge losses as we lost our cows to FMD", said another dairy farmer from Dadoora village. He alleged that government failed to vaccinate the cows for the disease on time.

" It all happened due to the non availability of vaccines", he said.

Gulzar Ahmad Dar, who runs a milk cooperative in Knagan village said that the treatment for FMD hardly yielded any result on the infected cows.

" The cows die after a few days of contracting the disease", said Dar. The distraught dairy farmers appealed the government to waive off their loans.

Chief Animal Husbandry Officer Pulwama Dr Mohammad Hussain Wani said that there had been an outbreak of FMD in the entire Jammu and Kashmir as the vaccines were not given to animals.

"Due to the non-availability of vaccines, the animals could not be administered the second doze of vaccines which was to be given in the month of April-May", Wani said.

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