THE ANIMAL DISEASE CONTROL PROJECT
Farmers in Kerala have been facing great economic loss due to loss in life and reduction in milk yield due to Foot and mouth Disease every year. Besides this the State incurred large economic losses as a result of the inability to produce and ship processed animal products. It was estimated that the country is losing over Rs 4000 Crore annually due to FMD.Under these circumstances Government of Kerala took the stern decision to implement control of this dreaded disease in the State. Since the State does not have the economic resources to implement such a large scale project on its own, it was decided to approach an external agency such as National Dairy Development Board to provide infrastructural and monetary support.Consequent to a series of discussions at Government level, NDDB agreed in principle to launch a joint venture programme to control Foot and Mouth Disease in the state. A working Group was formed to chalk out modalities for the implementation of such a project. On the basis of the report of the Working Group, a MOU was signed on 27th March, 2004 between NDDB and the Government of Kerala to implement the Animal Disease Control Project in Kerala, and Government vide G. O. (Rt) 176/04/AD dated 24/8/2004 issued orders for implementation of the Project. The Project was named “GORAKSHA”.
CONSTITUTION OF MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE Government vide G.O (Rt) No.789/2004/AD dated 29/5/2004 constituted a Project Management Committee for periodical review of the Project with the Agricultural Production Commissioner as its chairman and the following officers as its members:• Agriculture Production Commissioner - Chairman• Secretary, Animal Husbandry, GOK• Secretary, Local Self Government• Additional Secretary, Finance Department, GOK• Member Secretary, Kerala State Planning Board• Chairman, “Milma” or his nominee.• Director, Animal Husbandry• Director, Dairy Development• Dean, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy• Dean, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookode, Wyanad. • Project Adviser from NDDB• Representative from NDDB• Project Coordinator, ADCP, Member convener.The Project Management Committee met nine times till March 2006.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT UNIT A Project Management Unit at State level headed by an Additional Director (AH) with followingSupportive Staff has been formed to implement the programme.1. Project coordinator (Additional Director, AH)2. Two Officers (Joint Directors)3. IT officer4. Accounts Officer5. Veterinary Surgeon (One)6. Seven Supporting Staff (Technical Assistants – 2, Clerks – 2, Peons – 2, Driver – 1)At District level a District coordinator, District Epidemiologist, District Laboratory Officer and two supporting staff were identified to implement the programme. While the Project Management Unit at State level is located in a rented building, most of the District offices are located at respective district head quarters of AH Department. Dr. R. Vijayakumar, Additional Director worked as the Project Coordinator from May 2004 toOctober 2005 and presently Dr.K.G.Suma, Additional Director is holding additional charge of theProject Coordinator. All the staff working in the Projects through out the State is holding additionalcharge. National Dairy Development Board as per the MOU has positioned Dr. R. K Nair as the ProjectAdvisor to the Project.
COMPONENTS OF THE PROJECTThe various components of the Project are:-1. Vaccination2. Manpower development3. Epidemiological Studies4. Out break Management5. Seromonitoring6. Extension and Publicity7. Animal Movement management8. Information management
LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT:Government have enacted necessary legislation to support the implementation of the Project and ensure compliance of the farming and business community.• GOK has issued notification amending the Kerala Prevention and Control of Animal Diseases Rules 1968 providing compulsory vaccination against FMD and identification of vaccinated animals by ear tagging on cost basis (GO No.176/04/AD dt.24/8/2004)• Gov. Order to strengthen surveillance and checking FMD at State borders (GO (MS) No. 36/2004/AD dated 19/3/2004).• Compulsory disease reporting.• GOK vide GO No.1350/2004/AD dt 3/9/2004 formed :(1) District Level Monitoring Committees with District Panchayats President as Chairman, District Collector as Vice Chairman, District Dairy Development Officer,Board of Directors of the Regional Milk Union, Secretaries of Corporation/Municipalities and members of District Panchayats as members and District Animal Husbandry Officer as Convener.(2) Panchayats Level implementation committee with Panchayats President as Chairman, Panchayats members, Presidents of Dairy Cooperative Societies as members and Veterinary Officer as Convener.(3) Government vide its GO (Rt) No. 582/05/AD dated 13.4.2005 has ordered strict inspection of animals entering the state through the seventeen check posts. All animals entering the state must carry a certificate of vaccination against FMD and must be free of disease at the time of entry. A red ear tag is affixed to each animal for subsequent identification, and an administrative charge is levied at the rate ofRs. 8/- per large animal and Rs. 5/- per small animal.
1. Targeted Vaccination: A Target of 85% of the susceptible animal population (Cattle, buffalo,goats and sheep) was fixed for vaccination against FMD in order to confer “herd immunity”upon the entire population.2. Training: Training has been imparted to the following staff of the AHD at IIL, Hyderabad.• All Senior Officers in the PMU, Directorate of AH, District Animal Husbandry Officers.• All District Coordinators of the Project.• All District Epidemiologists.• All District Laboratory Officers.• All Sero monitoring personnel.• Training imparted at District Level:• All Field Veterinary Officers at their respective District Head quarters.• Livestock Inspectors at Panchayat/Taluk Level. (The programme is ongoing)• Training was also imparted to all the District Coordinators on internet based vaccination reporting system at Trivandrum.• A working manual in Malayalam has been printed and distributed for the use of livestock Inspectors.GOK has agreed not to transfer the officers of the Project for at least five years. 3. Publicity: The following plans were put in place before the commencement of vaccination and continued during the vaccination.• Electronic media: A film clip of about 30 second duration has been short advocating all the farmers to get their animals vaccinated against FMD as they have done to protect their children against Polio, with a renowned film star Mr. Suresh Gopi.• Wall posters depicting a still from the above have been pasted in public places.• Print media: Advertisements in C&D categories of Malayalam newspapers at government concessional rate.• Appeals by the Hon’ble Minister and Chairman, MILMA in Malayalam news papers. • Posters (one with a farmer and the other with a Veterinarian) at Public places like Panchayats, Dairy Coops and Veterinary Hospitals.• Handouts – Appeal from the minister to all the farmers.• Appeal from the Regional Milk Unions and Dairy Development Department.• Loud speaker announcements and bit notices at Panchayat level during vaccination.4. Vaccine Supply and Storage: FMD Vaccine for the vaccination of animals under the Project is being procured from IIL Hyderabad and supplied directly to the State by the NDDB. The vaccine is an oil adjuvanted emulsion for intramuscular use, and contains antigens for the FMD strains O, A and Asia-1.The vaccine is stored in five walk-in coolers located at Thiruvananthapuram, Aluva, Thrissur,Kozhikode and Kannur. The coolers are provided with round the clock power supply, with generator backup in case of emergency.Vaccines are supplied to the field once in three days so as to ensure that wastage is reduced to a minimum. All hospitals and dispensaries are equipped with refrigerators/coolers for vaccine storage, and all vaccination teams are supplied with cool pails/thermocol boxes to ensure that the cold chain is maintained right down to the implementation level.5. Mass Vaccination Programme:a. In the first phase of the Mass Vaccination Programme the northern eleven districts of Kerala (Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wyanad and Kasargode) were included.b. Micro-level planning and formation of vaccination squads were done before commencement of vaccination. Each vaccination squad comprises of:1. Veterinary Officer/Senior Livestock Inspector2. Livestock Inspector3. Attendant/Helper from AHD/Panchayats/Milk societies.Approximately 2000 squads have been formed in the state to cover vaccinations.The veterinary officer in charge of a Panchayat coordinates the vaccination programme in his area and reports to the Taluk coordinator. The Senior Veterinary Officer in the rank of an Assistant/Deputy Director in a Taluk is made as the Taluk Coordinator. He collects the money from the Veterinary Officers of his Taluk and remits it to the Corpus fund account with State Bank of Travancore (SBT).c. During the first round of FMD vaccinations, a period of 20 days from October 15,2004 was allotted for the completion of the Programme. However near the end, it became necessary to extend the Programme period due to unforeseen interferences from various quarters.d. At district level, the District Coordinators as well as the District Animal Husbandry Officers monitored the activities.e. One Additional Director of AHD camped at each region (Northern region at Kozhikode, Central Region at Ernakulam and Southern Region at Trivandrum),coordinating the activities of 3-4 districts during the vaccination period.f. Depending on the availability of staff, crisis teams have been formed in each district to attend to any outbreaks reported.g. During the Vaccination Programme, daily performance reports were submitted by telephone from the eleven districts to the Project Management Unit, where the data were collated and a Daily Progress Report was prepared. The report was then submitted to the Hon’ble Minister for Animal Husbandry, the Agricultural Production Commissioner, the Secretary to Government (AH & DD) and the Director of Animal Husbandry at the end of the day.h. During the vaccination programme, several reports of a misleading and malicious nature appeared in a number of the leading vernacular and national dailies, seemingly with the sole intention of sabotaging the Project and arousing fear in the farming community regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine being used and the mode of administration. These reports appear to have been generated by a section of theDepartment’s officers, whose purpose remains unknown.i. In the aftermath of these adverse media reports, a large number of casualties were ascribed to the vaccination programme by the general public, and farmers often refused to allow their animals to be vaccinated, despite being warned of the legal consequences of failing to do so. j. As a response to these events, the Government appointed an Expert Committee to probe the casualties and other untoward incidents attending the programme.The Committee was convened by Dr. Udayavarman, Additional Director and consisted of Dr. Saseendranath M.R. & Dr. Vijayan N, experts from the College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences Mannuthy, Dr. Franklin from MILMA, along with Dr. R.K.Nair, Project Advisor, NDDB.The Expert Committee visited all the districts included in the programme and held extensive discussions with the officers and farmers in the field. A report was then published wherein the Committee outlined its findings on the events of the vaccination programme and the casualties that occurred during the programme.The Committee found that of all the deaths ascribed to the vaccination programme,only 29 (11 cattle and 18 goats) could be attributed to anaphylactic shock as a direct result of vaccination.k. The programme was concluded on the 3rd of November 2004 twenty days after its commencement. The left out animals were vaccinated during 15th to 12th May 2005.l. Vaccination Achievement: Although it was not possible to achieve the projected target of vaccinating 85% of the susceptible animal population, the officers in the fieldput up a performance that is still commendable, especially in view of the extreme levels of adversity they faced in the field.m. The IInd Round of ADCP and the IIIrd Round of FMDCP were conducted together from November 28 2005 to 31 December 2005, and a Leftover Round was conducted from 1 April 2006 to 14 April 2006.
EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES:-As part of ADCP, under Epidemiological Studies, a round the clock emergency unit to monitor outbreaks of Animal Diseases has been started in the Project Management Unit of the ADCP at State level. An Asst. Director and three Veterinary Surgeons with a vehicle and driver are in place through out the day night for 365 days.
FMDCP OF GOVERNMENT OF INDIAIn Kerala, an FMDCP (Foot and Mouth Disease Control Programme) financed by Government of India is being implemented in the three southern districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta. As agreed upon when the ADCP started operating in the state, the activities of the FMDCP were merged along with the ADCP. The first phase of FMDCP was completed in two periods, one during February 2004 and the other in July 2004. The second phase of FMDCP in the three southern districts was completed along with the left out vaccinations carried out in the northern eleven districts during 15th April to 12th may 2005.
SECOND ROUND OF VACCINATIONS UNDER ADCPThe second round of ADCP and the third round of FMDCP vaccinations were started from 28th November to 31st December 2005. Because of unusual rains and flood in Tamilnadu and subsequent delay in full supply of vaccination materials the actual vaccination could be started from 1st December 2005 only through out the State. It was decided to carry out the second round of ADCP in the eleven northern districts and the FMDCP vaccination programme in the three southern districts concurrently. This could save a lot of expenditure in advertisement and other pre-preparation expenses including the supply and positioning of vaccine and vaccination materials.During this period, several minor outbreaks of FMD were reported in some districts of the state. In these districts, containment vaccination was undertaken under the component “Outbreak Management”. In some districts, there were outbreaks of diseases other than FMD, such as HS:in these locations, FMD vaccination was halted until the disease was contained, and FMD vaccination was resumed during the month of January 2006.
SEROMONITORING :-The serum samples on day zero as well as on the 21st day after vaccination are being taken for Seromonitoring work. These samples from northern districts from Kozhikode to Thrissur are being tested at the District Laboratory at Palakkad and those from Palakkad and other districts at IAH &VB Palode.Samples from the districts of Kasargode, Kannur and Wyanad are being tested at the new laboratory established at the College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Pookode, Wayanad. The result so far obtained shows a very good titer value indicating good antibody development in the vaccinated animals.
ANIMAL MOVEMENT MANAGEMENTThe Government of Kerala has taken steps to ensure that movement of animals into the state is strictly controlled as per its Order GO (Rt) No. 582/05/AD dated 13.4.2005.The number of animals including cattle and goat which had entered the State through the 17 check-posts during 2004-05 and 2005-06 (up to January 2006) were 4, 75,966 and 5, 17,842 respectively. Besides there are many bye-routes through which animals are being brought in to the State from neighboring States.
OTHER ACTIVITIESThe Animal Disease Control Project is currently implementing the ASCAD (Assistance to State for Control of Animal Diseases) Project of the Government of India, under which a mass vaccination programme is being conducted against Ranikhet Disease and Duck Plague throughout the state.This programme commenced on the 1st of August 2005 and will extend to the 21st of the month. Reports from the field indicate that in spite of difficulties imposed by the severity of the weather conditions and the lack of personnel, the programme is remarkably successful.
FINANCIALThe Project is operated using Funds received from National Dairy Development Board,Government of Kerala and Government of India.