Livestock sector plays an important role in the national economy and socio-economic development of the country. It is emerging as an important growth engine of the Indian economy and its share in gross domestic production has gradually risen. A significant obstacle for the growth in terms of production from livestock and poultry is the prevalence of diseases of economic importance as these cause huge economic losses nationally. The mandate of the ‘Livestock Health’ Division in the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MOA & FW)is to curb the spread of the prevalent diseases in livestock and poultry. Through the ‘Livestock Health & Disease Control’ scheme, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched by DADF since August 2010, efforts are made towards prevention, control and containment of animal diseases of economic importance e.g., Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), Brucellosis, Anthrax, Haemorrhagic Septicemia (HS), Black Quarter (BQ), Classical Swine Fever, New Castle Disease (Ranikhet), Avian Influenza (AI), etc. DADF also provides financial assistance to Animal Health Institutions under a Central Sector scheme.
The ‘Livestock Health & Disease Control’ scheme comprises of the following components -
Foot and mouth disease is an infectious (viral) disease that affects cloven hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids and results in reduced milk production. Symptoms include fever, blisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness, excessive salivation (smacking jaw movements in cattle), neo-natal mortality, etc. To prevent economic losses due to this disease, the programme is implementednationally, where central financial assistance is provided for biennial (six monthly) vaccination and surveillance.
Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) or sheep /goat plague is a viral disease characterized by high fever, inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract leading to necrosis and ulceration of the mucous membrane and diarrhoea. PPR infection causes losses in the rural economy, both in terms of morbidity and mortality. The programme is presently implemented throughout the country by vaccinating all susceptible sheep & goats for which central financial assistance is provided for vaccination and surveillance.
Brucellosis, an economically important zoonotic disease has become endemic in most parts of the country. It causes early abortions in animals. Prevention of abortions will add new calves to the animal population. This component was implemented since 2010 and central assistance is provided for mass vaccination of all eligible female calves between ages 6-8 months in the areas where incidence of the disease is high.
Classical swine fever is highly contagious and potentially a fatal viral disease that affects pigs. This disease is a major constraint to the development of pig farming in the North East part of the country where pig farming is a major source of livelihood for most households. In order to control the CSF disease in pigs, central assistance is provided for vaccination against Classical Swine Fever under the component – ‘Classical Swine Fever Control Programme’ (CSF-CP)
Under this component, assistance is provided to State/Union Territory Governments for control of economically important and zoonotic diseases of livestock and poultry by immunization, strengthening of the existing State Veterinary Biological Production Unitsand ofthe existing Disease Diagnostic Laboratories as well asfor providing in-service training to veterinarians and para-veterinarians. Funds are provided also for vaccination against canine rabies and for control of endo-parasites in cattle and buffaloes
Under this component, assistance is given to strengthen surveillance to maintain the country’s freedom from Rinderpest & Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CBPP) infections, secured in May 2006 and May 2007, respectively.
NADRS is an on-line system of animal disease reporting linking each Block, District and State Headquarters to the Central Disease Reporting and Monitoring Unit in New Delhi.
In order to help States establish new veterinary hospitals and dispensaries as well as strengthen/equip the existing ones as well as run mobile veterinary ambulances, the Department provides financial assistance under this component.
Under this component, assistance is given to the State Veterinary Councils and the Veterinary Council of India (VCI) to carry out their statutory functions under the Indian Veterinary Council Act, 1984 as well as to carry out Continuous Veterinary Education (CVE) for in-service veterinarians.
The ‘Animal Health Institutes’ scheme comprises of the following components -
The objective of this service is to prevent ingress of exotic livestock diseases into India by regulating the import of livestock and livestock products and for providing export certification of International Standards for livestock & livestock products. There are six quarantine stations in the country located at New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata.
This institute has been established to undertake quality control and assurance of standard, efficient and safe veterinary biologicals and to act as a nodal institute to recommend licensing of veterinary vaccines in the country using standard, efficient and safe veterinary biologicals.
In order to provide referral services in addition to the existing disease diagnostic laboratories in the States, a Central and five Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratories have been set up by strengthening the existing facilities. With the Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnosis (CADRAD) of Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izzatnagar as the Central Laboratory, the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratories are at Pune (Maharashtra), Kolkata (West Bengal), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Jalandhar (Punjab) and Khanapara (Assam).