Introduction

Indian economy is agriculture driven in which animal husbandry contributes significantly to the National GDP. Both agriculture and animal husbandry go hand in hand for the welfare of rural India. Till today in the most of the rural homes, milk is the main source in of live hood. Any disturbances in livestock health would have adverse consequences on rural economy. Control of important animal diseases, like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Mastitis and infertility form an integral part of an animal health package.

Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) is the first animal virus discovered more than a century ago, but till date across the globe, this particular disease alone is responsible for huge financial losses to the farmers. The popular name for this disease in Marathi is ‘Lalya Aani Khurkhut Rog’, ‘Khurha/Muh paka Khur paka’ in Hindi, ‘Gali Kuntu Vyadhi in Telugu, ‘Muh Khur rog in Punjabi, ‘Koumari’ in Tamil, ‘Ensho in Bengali, ‘Kalu Mattu Bayi / jwara Bene Roga’ in kannada, ‘kana’ or ‘kulambu Rogam in Malayalam, ‘Kharava Movasa in Gujarati, ‘Chavaka’ in Assamese and ‘Fatuva’ in Oriya.

India looses approximately 6000 crores of rupees per annum due to FMD. This is an old estimate and now the figure would even be more. The losses are in the form of heavy drop in milk yield, decreased draught power of the bullocks, reduced reproductive performance, abortions, reduced quality of meat and meat products, reduction in wool production, poor weight gain, death of young animals, treatment costs, flare up of inter current/ secondary infections like Hemorrhagic Septicemia (HS) and trade embargo due to internationally applicable regulations.

India today holds the number one position in terms of milk production (>84 million tones in the year 2004) and the increased globalization and open market policies offer wide opportunities to excel further more in animal husbandry. Control and eradication of economically important animal disease is an important step in this direction to attain international competency.

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