262 head of cattle die of foot-and-mouth disease

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Mysore, October 31:  The toll among cattle from foot-and-mouth disease has risen to 262 in Mysore district.

T. Narsipur and K.R. Nagar taluks have registered the highest number of 57 deaths each since September. Surprisingly, Nanjangud taluk has not reported any cattle death so far.

A final report on this is expected after November 5, as the taluk-level committees are assessing the situation.

Although the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences has covered 95 per cent of the cattle in the district so far, around eight cattle deaths are being reported from different taluks every day.

While 49 head of cattle died in Mysore taluk, it is 47 in H.D. Kote taluk, 40 in Hunsur taluk, and 12 in Periyapatna taluk. Devadas, Deputy Director of the Department of Animal Husbandry, told The Hindu that there were cases of cattle death even though 95 per cent of the 5,60,450 head of cattle in the district were vaccinated since the outbreak.

Around 98 per cent of the cattle have been vaccinated in K.R. Nagar and Hunsur taluks, 97 per cent in Mysore and T. Narsipur taluks, 95 per cent in Periyapatna taluk, 92 per cent in Nanjangud taluk and 91 per cent in H.D. Kote taluk, Dr. Devadas said.

New twist

Dr. Devadas denied that veterinary doctors were involved in attributing cattle deaths to FMD by creating fake documents.

Making a reference to a report about some veterinarians creating records to project certain cases as FMD, he said though the Assistant Directors (veterinary doctors) were under “severe pressure” from farmers and a few elected representatives, they were taking utmost care to record the exact cause of death.

He said a veterinary inspector who had gone to verify the death of a cow at Vajamangala village in Mysore taluk on Wednesday was forced to attribute the cause of death to FMD by the residents of the village. When the official refused to do so, he was “held” at the spot and not allowed to go out, he said.

Dr. Devadas said he then contacted the veterinary officer of Nazarbad, who reached the spot to conduct post-mortem.

The report finally stated that the cattle had died because of some other disease.

According to the order by the State government, Rs. 25,000 would be paid for the death of a cow and Rs. 20,000 for a bullock and buffalo. Also, Rs. 10,000 would be paid for each calf death.

Of this, Rs. 16,400 would be contributed by the calamity relief fund of the government and the rest would be made good by the respective milk unions under the KMF.

However, the difference between the death tolls recorded by the Department of Animal Husbandry and the KMF in Mysore district continues to perplex many.

Carcasses of animals were being photographed and even lesions in the foot and mouth of the dead animals were being recorded for official purposes. If the official death toll in Mysore district as on date is 262, the KMF statistics has put it at 1,025.

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