CHANDIGARH: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab has directly blamed the Congress government of Punjab for the death and decaying of the animals due to foot-and-mouth disease and demanded 100 per cent compensation for the livestock farmers.
In a statement issued from the party headquarters here on Sunday, AAP’s Kisan Wing state president and MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan said the cattle in Ludhiana-Sangrur districts along with different parts of the state had been affected by foot-and-mouth disease. “As a result, hundreds of cases of death and mutilation of milch cattle have come to light; which is distressing; because nowadays the price of any milch animal is not less than one lakh rupees,” he said.
Sandhwan said this deadly disease was proving to be harmful for the livestock farmers; who were already facing a financial crisis due to the deadly policies of the centre and the state government. He said the other sections along with the livestock farmers were not on the agenda of the government. “If farmers, especially livestock farmers, were on the government’s agenda, recruitment in veterinary dispensaries and hospitals, which had been vacant for decades, would have continued,” he added.
The AAP leader said that more than 70 per cent posts of Veterinary Officers, Veterinary Doctors, Veterinary Inspectors/Pharmacists and Class IV employees were lying vacant. Sandhwan said earlier in the 10 years rule of the SAD-BJP (Badal) government, they had not filled the vacant posts of field staff under the Animal Husbandry Department and now in the last four-and-a-half-years, the Congress government had grossly neglected the pastoralists of the state.
He said the vaccination campaigns for the prevention of foot-and-mouth disease in animals could not be successful without addressing the shortage of field staff. Sandhwan further said if the foot-and-mouth disease vaccination campaign had been carried out in a timely manner before the onset of rains; the cattle breeders would have avoided this huge loss. He said with the formation of the AAP government in 2022, the animal husbandry business would be developed as the backbone of the farmers of the state.