‘Variation in climatic conditions also responsible for spread of diseases’
SHOPIAN: The ongoing epidemic of foot, mouth and pox diseases in cattle and sheep has heavily affected the people dependent on animal rearing.
These diseases first appeared in central Kashmir parts like Ganderbal and Budgam districts and later affected the livestock in southern parts of Kashmir while scores of animals, their calves died after getting infected which according to doctors “are highly communicable viral diseases”.
Many such animals were affected by these viral diseases now in Shopian areas like, Reshnagri, Ramnagri and adjoining villages. A doctor deputed here told Kashmir Reader that the situation was under control and they were doing a fresh research on animals adding that some calf died after the breakout of virus.
Meanwhile, several other cases of sheep pox and foot and mouth diseases were found in Dhobijan area where the herds would be taken during summers. Manzoor Ahmad Wagay, a herder said that eight of his sheep died due to these diseases. Shopian is being considered the gateway for thousands of non-local sheep, goat and cattle through Mughal Road.
Doctors working in animal husbandry department said that the unvaccinated migratory livestock and late vaccination of local livestock due to unavailability of medicines and vaccines were a cause of the disease.
“So for we saw the main reason of breakout of these diseases was the migratory livestock that enter valley each year during summers but the question here arises that the herds should only be allowed to enter livestock in valley after quarantine checkposts on the entry points, ” Muhammed Ishaq, a doctor deputed to Shopian told Kashmir Reader adding that this process can’t be done without government’s support as according to him it needed facilities and doctors to conduct the process. “Variation in climatic conditions are also responsible for the spread of diseases from migratory animals,” he added further.
Another doctor wishing not to be named said that government has no genuine policy to tackle such diseases. “First the vaccines came late, then we have dearth of such laboratories where we can quality check the medicines and the vaccine which is being supplied to valley get manufactured by a single company,” he said adding that there were seven kinds of viruses which cause foot and mouth diseases and available treatment is for only four viruses which often led to the death of animals because of defective diagnosis.
“The nonlocal herders prefer not to vaccine their sheep and cattle due to some reasons and they come with viruses which takes toll from the local herds. “Foot and mouth is caused by an Aphthovirus of the family Picornaviridae. There are 7 serotypes: A, O, C, Asia 1, and SAT (Southern African Territories) 1, 2, and 3. Further diversity is found in strains within each serotype,” Dr Ishaq added.
Similarly, sheep pox and goat pox diseases characterized by widespread skin eruption are related to the virus of lumpy skin disease. In far-flung where herds shift their livestock during summers has taken a heavy toll.
The incubation period of sheep pox is 4–8 days and that of goat pox 5–14 days. The clinical picture is similar in the two diseases but is generally less severe in goats.
Doctors also suggested those who rare livestock should keep infected animals separate from the rest in order to save them from getting of virus