University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said on Tuesday that various tick-borne diseases posed a serious threat to the country’s livestock sector.
He was addressing the inaugural session of a three-day workshop on Tick-borne Diseases, arranged by the university’s Parasitology Department.
“The government must take immediate steps to overcome the diseases on a permanent basis as most of the country’s rural population earns it livelihood from their livestock,” Dr Khan said.
“There are 70 million cattle and buffaloes in our country. Small farmers depend on them for food security,” he said.
He said that enhanced efforts were needed to fight various diseases that were lowering livestock production.
“Awareness should be raised among the farming community about methods to save their livestock from such diseases,” the vice chancellor said.
He said the university would set up a Centre for Advanced Studies in Food Security and Agriculture, funded by the USAID. “This centre will be dedicated for research on enhancing food production in our country,” he said.
Dr Shahid Karim from the University of Southern Mississippi, USA, said that tick-borne diseases were a serious challenge as caused various diseases in humans and livestock.
“In Pakistan, tick-borne diseases threaten over 70 per cent of the population,” he said.
Faculty of Veterinary Sciences Dean Prof Dr Laeeq Akbar Lodhi said the livestock sector had the potential to improve the national economy.
“It is the need of the hour to step up efforts to cope with various diseases that are responsible for the low livestock sector yield,” he said.
Animal Husbandry Department Chairman Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal Randhawa said that the workshop was meant to raise awareness of livestock diseases among people of the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2014.