Foot-and-mouth disease kills hundreds of animals in Rafiabad

Baramulla: There has been on outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Rafiabad leading to death of hundreds of animals for the past two weeks.
Many villages of upper Rafiabad belt including Pazalpora, Dazna, kiterdagi, Hamam Markoot, and others have been hit by the viral disease with authorities struggling to contain it. Foot-and-mouth disease or hoof-and-mouth disease is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic animals. The virus causes a high fever for two or three days, followed by blisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness.
Abdul Rashid Ganaie, a local shepherd, said that a dozen of his sheep and goats have perished in the past one week. He said that animal husbandry department was not taking any serious steps to control it.
Gulam Ahmad Chopan, another local, said that hundreds of cows and buffaloes have fallen ill in forest areas with two to four cattle dying every day.
Chief animal husbandry officer, Baramulla, Mohammad Shafi Shala confirmed the outbreak of the disease in many areas of Rafiabad and Uri. He said many teams of his department have been sent to the areas to control the disease. “The teams are vaccinating the animals and we hope to control the disease within a week,” Shala said.