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India’s FMD vaccination efforts experience snags as cattle owners resist tagging their animals

24 November 2020

India’s Punjab region started a major vaccination drive against food-and-mouth disease earlier this year, but the effort could stall as owners oppose ear tagging of cattle, fearing that this could increase their tax burden.

According to a story in the Hindustan Times, Punjab’s FMD vaccination campaign could stall as cattle owners fear that ear tagging their animals will be linked to their Aadhar card after vaccination, potentially leading to higher taxes for them.

The newspaper explains that the vaccination programme requires that all animals be ear tagged after vaccination, and that the tags will link back to owners Aadhar national identity card. Farmers fear that this link will lead to more taxes under India’s new Electricity Act.

 

“Farmers are ready for FMD vaccination but we have learnt that ear tagging will lead to higher charges for power under the Electricity Act. The animal husbandry department should perform vaccination but we do not consent to ear tagging of our cattle,” said Gobinder Singh, Sangrur block chief of BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan).

“This is a misconception among farmers. The tagging has nothing to do with taxes or power charges. Tagging is necessary so that the government can show proper records for the vaccination, at the international-level,” said Dr Naresh Kochhar, state coordinator FMD vaccine. He added that as per the central government’s guidelines, there can be no vaccination without tagging.

“I appeal to farmers to not be scared and let the department officials vaccinate the cattle as the project has to be completed within the set time for it to work effectively,” said Dr Kochhar.

India’s animal health authorities had hoped to vaccinate 60 lakh animals against foot-and-mouth disease by the end of November, but so far, authorities have only been able to vaccinate approximately 10 lakh animals.

Read more about this story in the Hindustan Times.



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