Srinagar: Following reports of the cases of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Kashmir, the Directorate of Sheep Husbandry Kashmir (DSHK) has informed all the Sheep farmers of the division not to panic and take necessary preventive measures as the disease is not usually manifested in a virulent form in small ruminants.
The department as per an official communiqué has informed that an outbreak of Foot & Mouth like disease was reported in sheep during early May in district Budgam and the department immediately took remedial measures and started vaccination of the animals in periphery of the affected areas (ring vaccination) and offered treatment of clinical cases.
The disease was mainly reported from rural areas like Rathsun, Shalkani, Gundipora of Beerwah Sub division of District Budgam where about 1700 sheep were affected out of which about 1600 have recovered fully. Besides district Budgam, disease was sporadically reported from isolated pockets of District Anantnag, Baramulla and Bandipora.
It was revealed that besides field vets who attended the outbreak, the department immediately deputed experts from Disease Investigation Lab Nowshera who ensured all kinds of prophylactic and curative measures to prevent mortalities and spread of the disease. The teams collected the necessary samples from affected areas and the tests have been sent to Bhubaneshwar BSL-2 lab for confirmatory diagnosis of the disease.
In the meantime all symptomatic treatment of affected cases is being undertaken and there is no paucity of either drugs or vaccines required to address the outbreak. Moreover 05 teams of experts from Disease Investigation Laboratory Nowshera have been deputed for 10 districts of Kashmir division, to keep a tight surveillance on any form of disease outbreak throughout the division especially of the migrating flocks from different areas of the valley.
It was also informed that the department has established various first aid camps at sub alpines and shall be keeping all the resources available at Highland pastures where the flocks migrate during summer to keep an eye on the disease and provide necessary treatment as and when required.
Meanwhile, during the present year, FMD vaccination was to be done under Government of India’s scheme of NADCP which got delayed in sheep due to Covid-19 pandemic and accordingly the department took proactive measures to procure the vaccine out of its own resources to contain the spread of the disease.
The department has once again advised the farmers to follow the advisories issued by the department and also bring any case of such disease in the notice of nearest veterinary care professionals for timely intervention to prevent any losses to the livestock.