FMD has hit Arunachal massively, high morbidity reported: Dept

ITANAGAR, 30 Jun: Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has hit Arunachal in a massive form, affecting mithuns and other cattle in many districts.

Several districts have conveyed that the disease is gradually subsiding. However, districts like Shi-Yomi, Leparada, Lower Subansiri and Kamle are still experiencing “huge morbidity,” informed the AHV&DD department in a statement.

Despite limited fund, human resources and logistic support, the department is fully geared up in whatever possible way to contain the situation as early as possible, said a department press release.

In most of the places, the disease started in sporadic form during March-April 2021, and gradually spread

to larger areas in an epidemic form by May-June 2021.

“In consultation with the respective officers of the affected districts, teams of paravets from the headquarters, along with emergency medicines are being rushed to the places where needed to assist the district teams in the field,” informed Dr Karbom Basar from the AHV&DD directorate.

The department informed that AHV&DD Secretary Bidol Tayeng has deputed teams of senior officers of the directorate to some of the affected districts to take stock of the situation, and to oversee the controlling and containment measures.

Seniors officers of the directorate, including the disease investigation officers (eastern, central and western zones) have visited the affected places in Anjaw, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley, East Siang, Siang, Upper Siang, West Siang, Leparada, Lower Siang and Upper Subansiri districts from 10 to 19 June.

The visiting teams trekked into deep jungles towards the mithun habitats, where the mithuns are being treated by the vets and field staffers. Besides supervising the control and containment activities, the visiting teams of officers interacted with PRI members, village heads and the animal owners to sensitize them to the importance of periodical immunization of their livestock, and bio-security measures to prevent such outbreaks.

In many villages, the villagers admitted to their ignorance in not cooperating with the visiting veterinary team for the vaccination drive, the department said. “Considering this epidemic as a lesson, henceforth the villagers have pledged to get their animals vaccinated as and when the vaccination team from the department visits their village,” it added.

The main reason for such outbreak may be due to non-cooperation of livestock farmers with regard to vaccinating their livestock against the disease, and also due to the porous interstate boundaries. “Whenever there is any outbreak in the neighbouring state, it is easily transmitted to our state due to inadequate manpower and poor infrastructure at the interstate livestock check gates,” the department said.

Meanwhile, AHV&DD Minister Tage Taki during a meeting with Secretary Tayeng, AHV&DD Director Dr ND Minto and Joint Director Dr Tachi Taku directed the department to take immediate measures to control the outbreak.