PM Modi launches NADCP: In Central programme, focus on animal health
This article discusses launch of National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) which is intended to eradicate foot and mouth disease (FMD) and brucellosis in livestock.
India’s livestock population of greater than 125 crore heads is the largest in the world, but on the flip side, its cattle productivity is low and animal diseases are a major concern. The diseases such as foot and mouth disease (FMD) and brucellosis have caused some overseas markets to stop importing Indian dairy and meat products, and this has prevented the Indian livestock industry from realizing its full income potential.
National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP)
As per the government release, the programme is put in place to vaccinate more than 500 million livestock heads, including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs, against FMD, and some 36 million female bovine calves annually against brucellosis. The programme is fully funded by the Centre and the funding amounts to Rs. 12,652 crore for five years until 2024. The objective of the programme is to control these two diseases by 2025 and eradicate them by 2030.
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)
It is a highly infectious viral disease of cattle, swine, sheep, goats, and other cloven-hooved ruminants. Although it is not fatal in adult animals, it leaves them severely weakened, and results in a drastically reduced production of milk. It can therefore prove to be disastrous for dairy farmers. Infected animals get a fever, sores in their mouth, on their teats, and between their hooves. The disease spreads through excretions and secretions and the infected animals also exhale the virus.
As per the World Organization for Animal Health, the disease is endemic in several parts of Asia, most parts of Africa and the Middle East. Countries and regions like Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Central and North America, continental Western Europe, and most Latin American countries are free from FMD. Controlling outbreaks and transmission of FMD includes administering introduction of new animals into existing herds, regular cleaning and disinfection of livestock areas, monitoring and reporting of illness, and use of effective vaccination strategies.
This is a zoonotic disease that is endemic in most parts of the country. It causes early abortions in animals which prevents the addition of new calves to the animal population. For controlling the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the vaccination of cattle and, in some cases, testing and culling. The Indian Government informed the Parliament in July this year that the Brucellosis Control Programme component of the NADCP envisages 100% vaccination coverage of female cattle and buffalo calves (4-8 months of age) once in their lifetimes.
The decision of the Indian Government to come up with a National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) is commendable as it helps in curbing the diseases such as FMD and Brucellosis. This is vital for a country such as India which relies heavily on agricultural and farming activities.