SRINAGAR: After successfully producing foot rot vaccine for local strains, the Kashmiris scientists have no option but to pass on the expertise to a Gujrat based company for mass production of the vaccine.
With various state departments showing no interest in mass-production of the vaccine, veterinarians from the Faculty of Veterinary Science & AH, Shuhama, SK University of Agriculture Science and Technology Kashmir (SKUAST-K), who are credited with the new vaccine, have been approached by a Gujarat-based company to get the job done.
Foot rot according to experts is among one of the major disease hitting state’s Sheep Husbandry with losses of above 20 crore annually. The losses, experts opine, could been evaded if the vaccine is made available on a large scale.
Dr Shakil Ahmad Wani who heads the Division of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology at FVS&AH has successfully created the vaccine with the active support of his team under Government of India project ‘Development of Vaccine Against Virulent Foot rot’.
However, the mass production of the vaccine could not be undertaken as the support from various departments has not been forthcoming.
This painful disease, according to Wani is highly infectious and is mostly specific to sheep and goats. He said controlling the disease was very difficult.
The disease, he said, adversely affects mutton as well as wool production which have high demands in this region.
“The vaccine for this disease is not available anywhere in India, and the ones that are available are not effective against our strains,” he said.
The Vaccine has come up after lot of trails and could have proved successful against the strains prevalent here and across India.
Wani said that mass production is not our domain and so far no one has come forward to undertake the job.
Incidentally Jammu Kashmir alone is not desperate for the vaccine. The disease has been wreaking havoc in South Indian states as well.
Wani regretted that an an Ahmadabad based company wants us to produce the vaccines in bulk. “We have no option but to work ith them now,” he lamented.
“We are now seeking a nod from Indian Council of Agricultural Research that funded our project and our own university to pass on the expertise to the company,” he said.