At last a vaccine to ensure hoof health of sheep

At last a vaccine to ensure hoof health of sheep

SRINAGAR: Sheep breeders in Kashmir in future will have to shun the crude and ineffective methods of treating footrot in sheep, after the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology- Kashmir (SKUAST-K) researchers developed anti-footrot vaccine, at last, saw takers for its commercial production.

This contagious bacterial disease among sheep and goats, mostly rendering the cattle lame and frail, had so far been treated by breeders using zinc and copper sulphate solutions and antibiotics that mostly remained ineffective.

With almost six years of painstaking work to develop anti footrot vaccine researchers at the Division of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology Faculty of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry say that “its mass production could go a long way in saving losses to this sector”.

Dr Shakeel Ahmad Wani, Director Education SKUAST-K who headed the team of scientists that developed this vaccine under GoI project ‘Development of Vaccine against Virulent Footrot’ told Kashmir Reader that there was no vaccine for this disease.

“We found that the State suffered losses up to 20 crore rupees annually from this disease, and the vaccine we developed has proved successful not only against the strains prevalent here but across India,” he said.

The only impediment was its commercial production that ended after SKUAST-K entered into agreements with M/S Soft Biotech Private Limited, New Delhi that in future will undertake the commercial production of this vaccine.

He said that commercial production was not the mandate of the university and once this vaccine was available to breeders they would be saved from losses suffered.

“We are not alone who desperately need this vaccine, South Indian states too are suffering losses on account of this disease and this commercial production will help them too,” Wani added.