Alarming Incidence

Alarming Incidence
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Growing incidences of the deadly foot rot diseases have taken the lives of assorted cattle across many parts of Kashmir. It may be noted that foot rot is a deadly disease caused by a bacterium which affects the foot of the sheep. Besides puss formation, there is regular bleeding and even nails gouges out of the hooves of the animal. The disease is so lethal and deadly that the weight of the animal is reduced by 10 percent once infected by the bacterium which usually infects usually sheep when they graze in pastures and fields. As a general point, animals, by their very nature , are not endowed by or with the gift of speech. They then can neither articulate their problems and diseases that they suffer from. And, given the man-animal relationship, it perhaps falls upon humans to take care of and see it to that animals, especially the kind that share a rather symbiotic , harmonious relationship with them do not suffer. But, alas, in this part of the world, humans are found wanting in this dimension. Now, in terms of specifics, and the disease in contention, the foot rot disease, that has gripped a range of livestock in Kashmir, this dimension might be at play, at one level. While this might constitute negligence of “duty of care but, with specific reference to the alarming incidence of the foot rot disease here, the parts and departments of the administration which have an obligation to ensure that livestock remains disease free is to blame largely. Ideally , the approach of these departments and facilities must be pre-emptive and proactive. That is, these departments must function in a way , especially in the field, that disease of this nature does not arise. This would mean and entail awareness programs among people who rear and raise livestock and even among the general populace, pre-emptive vaccination and easy availability and delivery of vaccines and medicines. Of course, this would not mean total and complete eradication of diseases given that the incubation of various diseases cannot be controlled and is independent of supply side measures to curb these. But, regardless, attempts have to be made. Besides a vigorous outreach, the animal husbandry and veterinary sciences departments could also do well with capacity building and addition which would make the department efficient , effective and more productive. Animals, to repeat, because of their inability to speak, are vulnerable in more ways than one. It, therefore, is our duty that we do our best to care for them.

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