ANIMAL HUSBANDRY DEPARTMENT.
Treatment of sick animals, control of cattle epidemics, castration, and breeding of healthy cattle are the primary functions of the Animal Husbandry department. Besides, the department also advises the people in hygienic methods of animal management and for propaganda purposes participates in cattle and poultry shows held from time to time at various places in the State.
Animal husbandry activities in the district are controlled and supervised by the District Animal Husbandry Officer who is now under the control of the Zilla Parishad. In the performance of his functions he is assisted by the necessary staff, both technical and non-technical.
A chain of 14 full-fledged veterinary dispensaries and 38 veterinary aid centres has been established throughout the district. The work of treating and vaccinating the animals and poultry birds against various contagious diseases is carried out by the veterinary officers and stockmen attached to these institutions. Besides these activities, they are concerned with animal husbandry development schemes at tahsil and village level, such as posting of premium bulls under various schemes, supply of improved rams and poultry for the improvement of local non-descript live-stock, etc.
During the year 1964-65, 57,726 cases were treated for both contagious and non-contagious diseases, 9,461 castrations were performed, 197 specimens including blood smear, stools, urine samples and skin scrappings were examined for confirmatory
diagnosis of diseases. During the same year, 274,028 preventive vaccinations were performed against the contagious diseases like Rinder pest. Haemorrhagic-septicaemia, Black-quarter, Anthrax,
Ranikhet, Fowl-pox and South-African horse sickness.
Artificial insemination is a new technique for improving livestock in the shortest
possible time. There is one full-fledged artificial insemination centre at Chandrapur with three sub-centres at Bhadrawati, Mul and Gadhchiroli. In 1964-65, 647 inseminations were carried out at all these centres.
There is one poultry breeding centre at Chandrapur and two poultry demonstration centres at Mul and Bhadrawati. These centres sell hatching eggs and distribute birds of exotic breeds for improving the local flock of birds. Training in scientific methods of rearing and management of poultry is also given at these centres. During 1964-65, loans amounting to Rs. 5,223 and subsidies amounting to Rs. 3,094 were given to deserving poultry farmers.
Besides these activities, intensive poultry development schemes have been undertaken by six panchayat samitis. Under crash programme schemes three panchayat samitis. distribute pure birds and hatching eggs to the cultivators at concessional rates.
There is one cattle breeding farm at Chandrapur which is under the control of the Animal Husbandry department. The animals of Gaolao breeds are maintained at this farm. Besides, there are four supplementary cattle breeding centres located at Aheri, Brahmapuri, Gondpipri and Sindewahi. In order to protect old and useless cattle, one Gosadan has been started at Somnath near Mul and 900 acres of forest land has been transfer-red to the Gosadan for grazing and cultivation of grass.
In order to give encouragement to the cattle breeders, cattle-cum-poultry shows are organised in different blocks of the district every year and outstanding bulls and birds are awarded prizes. Introduction of various cattle development schemes such as premium bull schemes, supplementary cattle breeding centres, key village centres, artificial insemination centres etc., have brought improvement in local non-descript cattle with regard to its milch qualities.