Port Blair, June 24: Mass Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccination Campaign is being carried out in South Andaman under the Centrally Sector Scheme, Livestock Health and Disease Control Programme (LH&DCP). The Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services (AH&VS), A&N Administration, Port Blair, has launched the 29th Round (4th Phase of NADCP) of Foot and Mouth Disease(FMD) mass vaccination. The vaccination campaign began on June 1, 2024, targeting cattle and buffaloes across the villages of South Andaman. The Department constituted 10 specialized vaccination teams for this initiative consisting of vaccinators and animal handlers and Senior Veterinary Officer as the team leader.

FMD is a highly contagious and infectious disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats and pigs. The disease presents clinical signs such as high fever (104-106 degrees Fahrenheit), loss of appetite, dullness, excessive salivation, vesicles in the mouth (particularly on the gums and tongue) leading to ulcers, and wounds in the hoof, especially in the interdigital space. Blisters may also appear on teats.

FMD results in significant economic losses due to reduced milk yield, decreased growth rate, and infertility. Transmission occurs through excretions and secretions from infected animals and can be spread mechanically by animals, humans, vehicles, and other contaminated objects. The World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) has classified FMD as a significant disease. The Department of AH&VS is committed to eradicating FMD from the Island. In this round of mass vaccination, a total of 5576 cattle and buffaloes were vaccinated against FMD, covering 1115 farmers till date. Additionally, 1193 new cattle and buffaloes were ear-tagged and registered in the Bharat Pasudhan Portal. 416 pre-vaccination serum samples were collected for Sero-monitoring of FMD between June 1, 2024 and June 20, 2024.

The Department of AH&VS has requested all livestock owners to cooperate and ensure that their animals are ear-tagged and vaccinated against FMD to help make the Island FMD-free.