The Department of Animal Husbandry came into being in 1948 soon after the independence. This department has overall responsibility for livestock and poultry development in the State and is making a significant contribution through checking the mortality rate of livestock, by providing free diagnostic service, prophylactic vaccination against the infectious and contagious diseases in livestock and poultry, introduction of exotic blood in non-descript and indigenous breeds of cattle and educating the farming community in management, disease control, feeding and breeding programme.
The department of Animal Husbandry was reorganized in 1995. Since then it is headed by a Director General under the Secretary Agriculture and Animal Husbandry assisted by the two directorates; i.e. Directorate of Animal Health and Veterinary Services and Directorate of Livestock Extension, Research & Development. The total number of professional staff in DoAH is 105. All these professionals hold degree in Veterinary or Animal Husbandry Sciences with 1/3rd holding M.Sc. Honors or post-graduate training abroad in different disciplines. The basic para veterinary staff is the Stock Assistants with basic education of Matric with Science 2nd division and one year diploma from College of Veterinary Sciences Lahore, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad or Extension Services Management Academy Garhi Dopatta, Muzaffarabad. Details of the two directorates of the department are given below:-
There are 17 veterinary hospitals, 42 A class dispensaries, 66 B class dispensaries and 132 first aid centers delivering services for treatment of sick animals, prophylactic vaccination against diseases of economical importance to the farmer’s community of AJ&K. The field staff also guides the livestock owners about parasitic infestations and their remedies.
There is one central disease diagnostic laboratory (CDDL) at Muzaffarabad and 6 district disease diagnostic laboratories functioning under the Directorate of Animal Health & Veterinary Services. These laboratories have the role of diagnoses of different faecal, urine, blood and other skin scrapings etc from field staff and the farmers. These labs are also helping the commercial poultry farms in diagnosing the diseases and suggesting their immediate remedial measures.
This section is headed by district livestock and poultry development officer (DLPDO) assisted by Veterinary Officer (Ext) in each Tehsil, veterinary supervisors and stock assistants at union councils level respectively. This section is mainly working on vaccination programmes against most fatal disease of poultry birds like ND in rural scavenging chicks along with distribution of day old chicks and hatching eggs of improved breeds of poultry including other livestock extension activities.
These PMCs are located at Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Kotli and poultry farm at Rawalakot. These centers are the source of day old chicks and hatching eggs Parent flock of improved breed suitable as scavengers is reared on these centers. Recently two new poultry research units have been established at Muzaffarabad and Bagh.
There are 38 Artificial Insemination Centers in the AJ&K for cross breeding indigenous cattle and buffaloes with semen from exotic high yielding breeds of cattle (Frisian & Jersey) and Nilli Ravi buffalo.
This center was established in 1990 under Integrated Hill Farming Technical Dev. Project. At first its mandate was to find a suitable cross breeding option for AJ&K. This center is conducting research on crossbred cattle (Jersey x local & Frisian x local) and performance evaluation of Nilli Ravi buffaloes at Muzaffarabad. Currently recording different production and reproduction traits of economic importance i.e. birth weight, weight and weaning, age at maturity & conception, lactation length, milk yield per lactation & calving interval are carried out at LDRC.
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