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Staff crunch hits veterinary hospitals in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

The state government, which has entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Amul Dairy for ushering in a white revolution by giving a big boost to dairy development in the state, is lethargic towards cattle, cow and buffaloes health. There is a general criticism that veterinary doctors are inadequate when compared to the rising veterinary population. Besides scores of veterinary clinics, hospitals and dispensaries buildings are in a dilapidated state and in pathetic condition. Dairy farmers fear that their cattle population can die at one go, in case of any virus or break of an epidemic. While the government talks of developing cattle and sheep rearing and backyard dairies as alternative to agriculture-based economy, little is done in this direction.

There are an estimated 60 lakh goats and sheep and 8 lakh cows and buffaloes population in the district. A sizeable section of veterinary staff is working in support of Amul Dairy initiatives in some mandals in the district. Taking a clue from the resentment of the veterinary employees regarding working with Amul Dairy, the state government announced that the veterinary staff will be relieved of their duties with Amul Dairy but has not implemented its decision so far. Most of the assistant director posts (4), veterinary physicians (30) veterinary assistants (95) and attenders (50) are lying vacant.

No wonder cattle and sheep farmers had to trek tens of kilometres to reach a medical facility. They are also being exploited by private medical practitioners and druggists. At least 80 of the 200 veterinary hospital buildings are in a dilapidated state. Besides, funds crunch in hospitals is haunting doctors as funds are being released only every 3 months and that too inadequately.

The hospitals are purchasing 60 to 70 varieties of animal drugs for which funds are not being released adequately. Animal Husbandry joint director Venkatesh told The Hans India that the government had been apprised of the problems of department and soon it is expected to respond positively, he assured.


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