Published Date: 2018-02-26 12:43:41
Subject: PRO/AH> Foot & mouth disease - India: (PB) ungulates, zoo animals
Archive Number: 20180226.5648466
FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - INDIA: (PUNJAB) UNGULATES, ZOO ANIMALS
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Date: Thu 22 Feb 2018
Source: Hindustan Times [edited]
Following the death of 8 animals from foot and mouth disease [FMD] in the last 2 months at the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park in Punjab's Chhatbir, the central zoo authority has alerted states and union territories to take preventive measures. Since January , FMD -- a highly contagious viral disease -- spread among cattle in Chhatbir and Gagar villages and the adjoining area of the park. Captive animals at the park have been affected, said a top park official.
In the last couple of months, captive animals, including gaur, black buck, chowsingha and mouse deer in the park have died due to the infection, said M Sudhakar, director at the zoological park. "Up to 5 mortalities were reported until [Mon 22 Jan 2018], 3 more casualties were recorded until [Thu 15 Feb 2018]," he said. "We, however, took immediate measures and with the help of veterinary officials and experts from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, we have managed to contain the spread of the disease." The park management and Punjab forest department have roped in experts from the state animal husbandry department to vaccinate domestic animals in the surrounding villages, he said.
This is the 1st time the FMD has been reported in the park. Earlier other diseases like leptospirosis and haemorrhagic septicaemia have been reported among captive animals in the park. Concerned about the spread of the disease, the central zoo authority has issued a circular to states and union territories, asking them to coordinate with state animal husbandry departments for implementing of FMD control programme.
The letter also directed the state and union territories to take up mandatory biosecurity measures as recommended by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute and have been asked to provide feedback on the action taken.
People familiar with the matter, said similar cases of FMD outbreak were reported from Kerala, but the spread was contained. Himalayan states, including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are closely monitoring captive animals for the disease, some of them said. "We carry out routine health check-ups of captive animals and the zoos in the state are secured so far," said Digvijay Singh Khati, state chief wildlife warden. The state has 2 zoos -- the Dehradun Zoo and Pandit GB Pant High Altitude Zoo in Nainital.
FMD is prevalent in hoofed animals like cows, pigs, sheep, goats and deer. Veterinary experts said picornavirus causes acute vesicular diseases in hoofed animals. The disease is characterised by sore feet and incapability of animals to stand coupled with high fever, painful lesions in mouth among others. "Particularly, in herbivores, the disease spread through grazing ground," said Rakesh Negi, an Uttarakhand-based veterinary expert.
[byline: Nihi Sharma]
[FMD is endemic in India; outbreaks in zoos, affecting susceptible animal species, are not rare. As indicated in WRLFMD's India page, the present FMDV serotypes are O, A and Asia 1 (see at http://www.wrlfmd.org/fmd_genotyping/asia/ind.htm).
Most FMD outbreaks in India during the last decade have been caused by FMDV serotype O.
For the most recent update of India's FMD situation, see pages 11-12 in the Dec 2017 issue of FAO's Global Foot-and-Mouth Disease Situation at http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/eufmd/FMD_reports_GMR/Dec2017.pdf.
A map of Punjab State, India may be found at http://healthmap.org/promed/p/316. - Mod.AS]