JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday said an outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) among cattle in Karnataka is a “matter of concern” for the farming community. The former chief minister also said that the FMD is a serious disease which could turn out to be fatal for the cattle.
“It is a matter of concern for the farming community that there is an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) among the cattle in the state now,” he said. Noting that the disease has the potential to reduce milk yield, fertility and cause chronic health problems for cattle, Kumaraswamy said this will further deteriorate the financial condition of farmers.
Ridiculing the concerns of the BJP-led government in the state for cows, Kumaraswamy said it 'lacked enthusiasm' in handling the situation arising out of the outbreak of FMD among cattle. In a series of tweets, he rued that the dairy farmers were in distress due to the outbreak of this disease.
“The BJP government, which showed eagerness in bringing about the Anti-Cow Slaughter Act, appears not to be showing similar enthusiasm and commitment in handling the FMD,” Kumaraswamy alleged. Seeking to know whether any meetings were held on FMD, the JD(S) leader alleged that the Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chauhan is yet to address the fear gripping the dairy farmers over spread of the disease.
He also said the dairy farmers were already in a tough spot due to reduction in milk procurement prices and increase in cost of cattle feed. To compound their woes, the outbreak of FMD may turn dairy farming into a loss-making venture, he added.
Kumaraswamy warned that the FMD can upset the entire rural economy if preventive measures were not taken immediately as farmers are heavily dependent on animal husbandry for their livelihood. Pointing to the shortage of vaccines for FMD at the private pharmacies, Kumaraswamy said the state government should immediately take measures to ensure supply of vaccines.
(with inputs from PTI)