July 13, 2011


India to detect animal disease outbreak easily



The occurrence of any animal disease will soon be discovered easily through the National Animal Disease  Reporting System that the Agriculture Ministry is creating with the National Informatics Centre (NIC), according to Dr P K Shukla of the Ministry of Agriculture.


The system will notify any abnormal animal death or disease from inaccessible areas to the centre through the internet.


Shukla also said that though the project will be introduced at the block level currently, it is being initiated in about 600 districts across the country. "Right now the only problem is the infrastructure. The software is ready but the individual states need to take the initiative to provide funds for the hardware in their respective districts."


The system will possibly mark the end of an age-old practice that their ministry has been plagued with, indicated Shukla. "So far, the policymakers, veterinary doctors and academicians only get together in times of emergency to achieve short-term solutions. Perhaps from now on, we can begin some long-term planning without the imminent fear of how to control an outbreak if it hits."


The poultry industry is growing at a phenomenal rate, said Dr R Prabhakaran, Vice-Chancellor, TN Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.


Responding to requests from veterinary academicians, Shukla said the government had a controlled and stringent approach to importing vaccines for animals because of the anomalies that variant strains might cause in the poultry. This, he felt, posed a threat to biosecurity of Indian poultry that would adversely affect export as well as internal consumption.

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