Bio-security farm set up to save Punganuru cattle

Bio-security farm set up to save Punganuru cattle
Highlights

Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University has set up a bio-security farm for conservation of endangered species Punganuru cattle with an investment of Rs 4.5 crore at Palamaneru Livestock Research Station. A similar bio-security farm is in existence in Munnar in Kerala and Ooty in Tamil Nadu.

Tirupati: Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University has set up a bio-security farm for conservation of endangered species Punganuru cattle with an investment of Rs 4.5 crore at Palamaneru Livestock Research Station. A similar bio-security farm is in existence in Munnar in Kerala and Ooty in Tamil Nadu.

Punganuru cattle are one of the world’s shortest humped cattle (Bos indicus) with long tail with a black switch touching the ground. They originated in the surrounding areas of Punganuru in Chittoor district. Presently it is one of the most endangered indigenous species in India. As of now their population is less than 500 and they are spread over both Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra.

At Palamneru Reserach Station, only 209 Punganuru cows, bulls, female calves are stationed for conservation of the breed. Bio security is the series of management practices that prevent the spread of agents that cause infection among animals in a farm.

The objective of the project is to conserve the Punganuru cattle under bio-secure conditions on its native breeding tract, study the reproductive characteristics under farm conditions and their behavioural features.

All Punganuru cows and heifers will be bred using phenotypically or genotypically selected bulls available at this research station. As part of the project, bio-security pedigree information will be recorded for all the animals involved in the breeding programme.

According to Vice-Chancellor of Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University Y Haribabu, the project will be implemented in 200 acres of green field at Palamaneru Research Station. “Already we have completed the construction of compound wall around the bio-security zone to prevent trespassers.

We will handle the feed and fodder, water facilities under sterilised conditions with automatic systems. Even scientist and staff also would be allowed into bio security zone after going through sterilisation process. In addition to that traditional fuel vehicles will not be allowed entry into the farm,” he said.

Punganuru breed is facing a threat of extinction. In this context SVV University Vice Chancellor has taken up the project after he secured approval from Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). The centre released Rs 4.5 crore under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).

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