Budgam: The lackadaisical approach of the animal husbandry department in administering vaccination to cattle has triggered outbreak of a deadly foot rot disease among the livestock at different grazing spots in Tosamaidan meadow in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
“Hundreds of animals have died since the outbreak of the fatal diseases two months ago and thousands are reportedly infected,” according to livestock owners.
Foot rot is a deadly disease caused by a bacterium which affects the foot of the sheep. Besides a puss formation, there is regular bleeding and even nails gouges out of the hooves of the animal.
The disease is so lethal that the weight of the animal is reduced by 10 percent once infected by the bacterium. The bacterium infects the sheep when it grazes in the pastures and fields.
The livestock owners of different areas of Budgam and Baramulla complained that a small team of veterinary department was dispatched to their area to treat the infected cattle.
“We informed senior officers of the department several times but they are not bothered to send a team and an abundance of medicines to the area,” they said.
They said that a number of sheep had died over the two months and thousands others are infected with the deadly disease.
“Tosamaidan is perhaps the worst hit place this year, where en masse deaths of cattle have become a common sight but it has so far failed to stir the department concerned into action,” they said.
An affected livestock owner, Ahmed Mushtaq of Arizal, complained that the deadly disease struck his cattle, who died within a few days.
He said that his cattle contracted the fatal disease. He sought help of animal husbandry officers but none came to their rescue, he said.
Mushtaq added that this year over twenty thousand cattle have been sent by the farmers of different areas here for grazing which costs crores of rupees.
The cattle are being looked after by the shepherds who stay at four camps. “As Eid-ul-Adha is ahead we have pined hopes over the cattle as our livelihood is totally dependent on them. So if they will die we will be left to lurch,” they added.
As the disease broke out among the cattle, they informed the department who in turn deputed four employees for their treatment.
A veterinary doctor who is presently deputed there told Kashmir Reader that it was not possible to treat over twenty thousand cattle by four persons only.
“The treatment is being done on daily basis in mornings only, so we are not able to give them proper treatment and the medicines also are not easily available,” he complained.
Meanwhile, the farmers alleged that veterinary doctors were sending concocted figures of vaccination of animals to their senior officers without bothering to visit the affected areas.
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Syed Sehrish Asger said that every possible help would be extended to them.
“Immediately after receipt of information regarding the outbreak of the deadly disease among the cattle in the meadow, we have mobilized the veterinary doctors along with the medicines,” she said.
When asked about the lack of manpower to coup up the situation, Asger said: “I have asked the directorate for more staff and medicines.”