India’s first International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease (ICFMD) has been inaugurated by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh at Argul near Bhubaneswar in Odisha on 1st April 2017. This centre will play a key role in protecting livestock from Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV).
- Other dignitary who accompanied Mr. Radha Mohan Singh at the inauguration function was Union Petroleum Minister Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan.
About International Centre for Foot and Mouth Disease (ICFMD):
- As mentioned by Project Director of ICFMD, Dr. Bramhdev Pattnaik, this centre will conduct research on exotic strains of FMD virus and prepare vaccines to counter the same.
- The centre has state-of-the-art high containment laboratory facility for safe handling and storage of live FMD virus.
- The centre can accommodate up to 20 cattle for research purpose. Cattle affected by FMD, can be brought to the centre for finding out the type of virus it has been affected by.
- Construction of ICFMD started in April 2014. The estimated cost has been Rs. 450 crore. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has funded the establishment cost. 100 acres of land for the centre has been provided by Odisha State Govt.
- ICFMD will play a role of a resource centre in matters related to FMD for the entire South Asian region.
What is Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV)?
FMDV is a fast spreading disease caused by a pathogen, which affects cattle and buffalo. This disease starts with a blister in animal’s mouth leading to ulcer in advanced stages. It also affects the foot. Animals affected by this disease cannot eat properly, stops giving milk and is not able to work in the field.
- Mr. Radha Mohan Singh highlighted that FMDV and other influenza virus are a serious threat to the health of livestock. More than 50 crore livestock across India are prone to these infections.
- As pointed out by ICFMD Project Director Dr. B Pattnaik, four serotypes – O, A, C and Asia-1 have been registered so far. Out of these serotype O is the most recurring (85% of outbreaks) followed by types Asia-1 and A. Serotype C has not appeared since year 1995.
- Currently FMDV has been eradicated from 70 countries. India has still not got rid of this disease and it suffers annual loss to the tune of Rs. 23000/- crore on account of this disease. As it affects domestic cattle and buffalo, it inflicts a massive damage on rural economy of India.