Lab to fight cattle ailment

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  • Published 27.04.08

Bhubaneswar, April 26: The state will soon have a high-security laboratory, the first of its kind in India, to fight foot and mouth disease which affects about 470 million domestic livestock population and causes an estimated loss of $8010 million every year.

Official sources here said that the proposed laboratory would be set up by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research at Jatni on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

The state-of-the-art laboratory will be the first centre in India and one of its kind in South East Asia with the bio- safety level facilities, which will work for proper control and containment of virulent, pathogenic and mutagenic foot and mouth disease viruses, said a senior officer of the state animal resources development department here. The centre assumes significance as it will also serve as a referral laboratory for the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Foot and mouth disease has a far-reaching impact on the Indian agriculture and animal husbandry, as it is prevalent in all parts of the country and occurs round the year.

This is a contagious disease affecting all cattle, sheep and goats. It also hits free-living and captive ungulates and elephants.

The research at the laboratory will help in manufacturing of foot and mouth disease vaccine through proper inclusion of emerging strains of concerned viruses, said a senior veterinary expert. Samples from across the country and abroad will be received at the laboratory for proper identification and characterisation of the biological pathogen that causes the disease. The laboratory will also serve as a repository unit for various serotypes (a grouping of viruses of the foot and mouth disease), said a senior official. The facility is expected to encourage setting up of biotech units in the state, said the official. The state government has identified land measuring 116.325 acres located for setting up the laboratory, official sources said.