Breeders asked to avoid grazing in wet grasslands: Deadly parasite kills 35 sheep, infect 500 others
Srinagar: A lethal parasitical infection is fast
spreading its tentacles among the livestock in North Kashmir.
More than 35
sheep have so far died while 500 others were affected by the infection in North
Kashmir’s Kupwara district in December last year. Caused by deadly parasite present in the wet
grass, ‘fascioliasis’ affects the liver of the animals.
“The deaths were caused by a high content of
moisture present in the grass. For instance, there is a season when the water
level in Wular Lake decreases. The breeders in Bandipora take the livestock for
grazing in the lake area. In such a situation, the animals become vulnerable as
the grass still retains some amount of moisture,” ”, said Dr Imran Khawaja,
Technical officer, Department of Sheep Husbandry.
Alarmed by the
situation, the government has issued an advisory asking breeders of Kupwara and
adjoining areas to take precautionary measures.
“Many a time
breeders lack awareness on how to prevent the livestock from developing
disease. To avoid the occurrence of the
disease, proper measures should be taken by the breeders. Grasses which remain submerged in water like
that of paddy should be avoided. Even if they are used, they should be dried
out first. Second, the animals should be given liver tonics and administered
medicines on time,” said Dr Khawaja.
the infection and mortality rate of sheep has been brought under control. “The
affected sheep are being given proper doses. Required drugs have also been
prescribed for the breeders,” Dr Khawaja said.
population in the hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir is associated with
Agriculture, Horticulture, Sheep and Animal Husbandry for earning their
fodder requirement of J&K is huge, whereas availability from different
sources viz alpine pastures, forest grazing lands, fallow agricultural lands,
private lands etc is inadequate thereby leaving a steep gap between supply and
demand,” reads an official document of the Forest Department.