Chandigarh, Dec 7 (UNI) Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Dairy Development Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, said here today that the Punjab government had made vaccination of cattle against Foot and Mouth Disease free with immediate effect.
The relief amounts to Rs 1.80 crore annually, he said.
Dr Baljit Singh Sidhu, Director, Animal Husbandry, said the department has been implementing a centrally-sponsored scheme called "Foot and Mouth Disease Control Programme' since the year 2003-04, Under the programme, 10 districts of the state bordering with the National and International boundaries, namely, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Mansa Sangrur, Barnala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala were covered.
All cattle are vaccinated bi-annually At present, there are roughly 20 lakh cattle, 60 lakh of them buffalos, in the state and the target population in the above 10 districts in 45.00 lakh.
A nominal Rs 2 per animal were being charged from the owner as user-charges so far, but it was found that even this was coming in the way of the mission of 100 per cent coverage of all cattle and buffalo population.
The programme will ultimately help to improve the staggering economy of the state, by boosting the export of livestock products like milk products and buffalo meat not only to Gulf countires but also to the European countries, he said.