Cattle immunisation drive begins at MTR

To prevent spread of communicable diseases from cattle to wildlife

The Forest Department, with the assistance of the Department of Animal Husbandry, launched a cattle immunisation drive to prevent spread of communicable diseases from cattle to wildlife in the core and buffer zones of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) on Wednesday.

Forest officials said that around 3,000 heads of cattle will be immunised against Foot and Mouth Disease as well as other common diseases that are contracted by cattle and which could potentially spread to other herbivores in the tiger reserve. The department has been undertaking the immunisation drive in March and September of every year for the last few years.

Cattle from across the reserve were immunised in phases in Muthukulli, Puliyalam, Nagampalli and Mandakkarai on Wednesday, with the drive set to continue at Thorapalli, Vadavayal, Iruvayal and Gundithal on Thursday.

Officials said that at present cattle are banned from grazing in the core area of MTR. But they were still allowed to graze in parts of the buffer zone, which increases the chances of infections among cattle spreading to wildlife and this necessitates the immunisation drive being conducted every year.

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