Viral and bacterial attacks annually kill nearly 67 percent cattle and 79 percent poultry in rural areas while an expert study today attributed 80 percent of the casualty to lack of quality vaccination.
"With the existing facilities, DLS (department of livestock services) is capable to vaccinate only 10 percent and provide treatment to 6.5 percent of the livestock population," read the study titled, "an empirical study on the perspective of vaccination for livestock and poultry of poor households in rural Bangladesh", reports BSS.
The study, revealed here at a seminar, said the figures were nearly identical for the poultry sector as well.
Islamic Relief Bangladesh and Department of Agriculture Finance of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) of Mymensingh jointly carried out the study and revealed the outcome at a seminar at the Daily Star Centre.
Fisheries and Livestock Secretary Dr Selina Afroza joined the seminar as the chief guest while UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Representative Mike Robson spoke as the special guest.
"The ratio of animal to a qualified veterinarian is 1:170,000 . . . no livestock staff is employed at the union or village level," the study said.
It said against the 15,000 village level agriculture assistants in the Agricultural Extension Department (DAE), DLA could employ only 1,299 countrywide technical staff, suggesting the acute manpower shortage for the promotion of the sector.
"This situation force livestock and poultry keepers to seek traditional medicine with poor outcomes," the study read.
The study said against the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) standard suggesting per capita daily intake of 120 grams of meat, 260 milliliters of milk and 0.28 pieces of eggs or 105 eggs throughout the year, the consumption of meat in Bangladesh is 24.38 gram, 67.96 milliliters and 0.13 pieces or 48 eggs in a year.
The study said mortality rate in livestock and poultry was crucially needed to be reduced to minimize the supply and demand gap alongside steps for increased productivity of cattle and chickens.
"Under the situation, the government should allocate more funds for strengthening vaccine production capacity by Livestock Research Institute (LRI), DLS to fulfill the total demand for poultry and livestock vaccines in the country, said keynote speaker of the seminar microbiologist Professor Dr M Alimul Islam of BAU, who led the study.
Acting Country Director of Islamic Relief Bangladesh Dr Saidul Alam chaired the seminar, attended by divisional and district livestock officials and DLS director general Dr Ajoy Kumar Roy, additional secretary of Fisheries and Livestock ministry Ikramul Haq, and Economic Relations Department (ERD) deputy secretary Sarwar Mahmud.