STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: The Indian Army faced a tough situation on how to deal with about 25,000 cattle which were housed in the 39 Military Farms fanned across India as the Government of India ordered closing down of all the 39 Military Farms across the country which occupy nearly 20,000 acres of land and annual expenditure of Rs 300 crore.
These military farms were started nearly 130 years ago by the British to supply the India Army with milk products. Over the years, however, the utility of the farms have diminished as now they contribute merely 14 per cent of about 210 million litres of milk annually consumed by Indian Army. Keeping in view of the GoI order, Jammu Based Military Farms handed over nearly 1000 animals to Animal Husbandry Department of Jammu which has decided to allocate these animals to SC/ST or BPL farmers on a token amount of one thousand only by Chief Animal Husbandry Officer Jammu vide notification No 506 dated June 19, 2019 and CAHOJ/03 of 2019 dated. July 7, 2019 published in various newspapers twice due to poor response first time. As per the procedure and guidelines all these animals have to be tested for Brucellosis disease before distribution. The protocol states that those animals which are tested positive should be isolated immediately as Brucellosis is not treatable in cattle from other healthy animals and culled thereafter. Those tested negative are to be kept under observation for six months and among these again positive ones are to be culled and negative may be kept for further breeding/ distribution to farmers. This Brucellosis is a human transferable zoonotic disease caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites that spread between animals (usually vertebrates) and humans and is often spread when people eat contaminated food, which can include raw meat and unpasteurized milk or through air or contact with an open wound as such farmers purchasing these animals are susceptible to this severe disease which may cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), lesions on the bones and joint, endocarditis (infection of the heart’s inner lining), meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around your brain) and some of these complications can be lethal if untreated.
It is beyond one’s imagination why Animal Husbandry Department is ignoring the set procedure, bypassing the testing of animals and thereby endangering hapless poor farmers who may not be aware of all these repercussions and consequences which may cost them their life. How can department be ignorant or criminally careless about the safety of farmers that too under Governor Rule, is the million dollar question with no answers.
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