The Union Cabinet at its first meeting on Friday cleared an initiative for controlling Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis to support livestock rearing farmers.
Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the initiative will benefit crores of farmers and improve the health of animals.
“This decision indicates the spirit of compassion towards those animals who are a valued part of our planet but are not able to speak. The Cabinet has cleared a total outlay of Rs 13,343 crores to fully control these diseases amongst the livestock in the country in the next five years and subsequently eradicate these diseases,” he said.
He said that in case of FMD, the scheme envisages vaccination coverage to 30 crore bovines (cows-bulls and buffaloes) and 20 crore sheep/goat and 1 crore pigs at six months’ interval along with primary vaccination in bovine calves.
The Brucellosis control programme shall extend to cover 100 per cent vaccination coverage of 3.6 crore female calves.
The programme so far has been implemented on cost sharing basis between the Central and State Governments. The central Government has now decided to now bear the entire cost of the programme to ensure complete eradication of these diseases and better livelihood opportunities for all the livestock rearing farmers in the country.
An official release said that the decision of the Cabinet fulfils the major promise made in the manifesto as it provides much relief to crores of farmers in the country who rear livestock.
It said the threat of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis was very common amongst the livestock – cow-bulls, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs etc.
The release said if a cow/buffalo gets infected with FMD, the milk loss is upto 100 per cent which could last for four to six months.
In case of Brucellosis the milk output reduces by 30 per cent, during the entire life cycle of animal. Brucellosis also causes infertility amongst the animals. The infection of brucellosis can also be transmitted to the farm workers and livestock owners. Both the diseases have a direct negative impact on the trade of milk and other livestock products.