Defence expenditure affecting animal resources, says Minister

New Delhi: In a bid to curb the menace of Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), the Indian Society for Study of Animal Reproduction (ISSAR) and the Animal Resources Development Department under the Government of West Bengal organised a high powered seminar entitled “Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Bovines with special reference to IBR- its diagnosis and control” in Kolkata, recently.

With the rising demand for animal products and changing food preferences of the next generation consumers, the Indian livestock sector has to improve its performance. In such a scenario, IBR has achieved an endemic status and is a strong impediment to cattle production. However, no strategic control programme has yet been developed. Control measures are not full proof owing to limitations of vaccination. Moreover, the situation in West Bengal is grave with a 22% decrease in cattle production.

Amaresh Chatterjee, President, ISSAR (West Bengal Chapter) said, that the first step at containing the endemic is to make the members of the society acquainted with the pros and cons of the different features of the disease. There is also a need to draw the attention of the Departmental Minister and the administrators so that adequate preventive measures in the form of vaccination is immediately instituted.

Jahar Lal Chakraborty, Secretary, ISSAR (West Bengal Chapter), said, “The livestock sector has become one of the fastest developing agricultural sub-sectors. In India, most of the cattle population in rural areas are confronted with various gynaecological disorders adversely affecting fertility.” Thus, production gets hampered, he added.

Sadhan Pande, Minister-in-Charge, Consumer Affairs Department, mentioned that developing “good farms” in Doars with cows imported from Australia would bring in good results. The government of West Bengal was actively working to address the issue, he said. Speaking of hurdles in the sector, Pandey said that “there are fewer funds available as such research work mostly depends on foreign funds.”

“India has to spend more on defence expenditure to contain terrorism and safeguard its border”, Pande lamented.