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New Initiative to Control Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD), Brucellosis to Support Livestock Rearing Farmers

During the Union Cabinet Meeting Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31st May 2019, the first since the outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, a novel initiative was cleared that will benefit crores of farmers and improve the health of animals.

Chander Mohan

During the Union Cabinet Meeting Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31st May 2019, the first since the outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, a novel initiative was cleared that will benefit crores of farmers and improve the health of animals. 

This initiative pertains to controlling Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis to support the livestock rearing farmers. 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 5 years and subsequently eradicate these diseases.  

The decision indicates the spirit of compassion towards those animals who are a valued part of our planet but are not able to speak.  It must be noted that these diseases are very common amongst the livestock like cow, bulls, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs etc. 

If a cow or buffalo gets infected with FMD, there is a milk loss upto 100 percent which could last for four to six months. Further, in case of Brucellosis the milk output get reduced by 30 percent, 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.

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. 

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, while the Brucellosis control programme shall extend to cover 100 percent  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. In a rare instance of departure, the Central Government has 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.

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