India to introduce web-based animal disease reporting system
The outbreak of any animal disease in the farthest corner of India will soon be detected with ease, according to Dr P K Shukla of the Ministry of Agriculture.
“This National Animal Disease Reporting System that we are developing in association with NIC (National Informatics Centre) will relay any abnormal animal death or disease from even a remote village to the centre, through the Internet,” Shukla said. This will ensure that before an actual outbreak, the government can take emergency evasive measures. Shukla also said that though the project will be introduced at the block level for now, it is being initiated in about 600 districts across the country. “Right now the only problem is the infrastructure. The software part is ready but the individual states need to take the initiative to provide funds for the hardware in their respective districts.”
The system will possibly mark the end of an age-old practice that their Ministry has been plagued with, indicated Shukla. “So far, the policymakers, veterinary doctors and academicians only get together in times of emergency to achieve short-term solutions. Perhaps from now on, we can begin some long-term planning without the imminent fear of how to control an outbreak if it hits.”
The poultry industry is growing at a phenomenal rate, said Dr R Prabhakaran, Vice-Chancellor, TN Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.
Responding to requests from veterinary academicians, Shukla said the government had a “controlled and stringent” approach to importing vaccines for animals because of the anomalies that variant strains might cause in the poultry. This, he felt, posed a threat to biosecurity of Indian poultry that would adversely affect export as well as internal consumption.