The Animal Welfare Board of India has directed the Thrissur-based Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University not to transport and kill “cruelly” 84 heads of cattle that has been tested for ‘seropositive to brucellosis,’ a deadly zoonotic disease.
“The board gave the direction in a letter to the Registrar of the University,” M Jayachandran, member of Kerala Animal Welfare Board said in a statement on Saturday.
“Infected cattle should be killed following the principles of euthanasia. It is unacceptable for a scientific institution like Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University to ignore disease in animals and risk public health,” he said.
The cattle at the University’s Thiruvazhamkunnu cattle farm at Palakkad tested positive about two years ago, it was stated. The Board advised the university not to transport the infected animals to its campus in Mannuthy, Thrissur and not to kill them without following the guidelines of euthanasia.
Transporting and killing them without preceding anesthesia, would be in apparent violation of The Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals (PCICDA) Act, 2009 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, it was pointed out. AWBI in its advisory further stated that brucellosis is a notifiable disease as per Section 4 of PCICDA.
The failure of the university to report the incidence for the last two years, and the failure of the Kerala government in notifying the disease and declaring the affected area with an objective of preventing, controlling and eradicating the disease risks the health of workers and the general public.
AWBI also advised the university to officially report the disease immediately and urged that the state government must notify the disease and declare the affected area. Consumption of raw milk and cheese made from raw milk is the major source of infection in humans.