October 17, Laya: Hon’ble Dr Sonam Kinga, National Council chairperson and Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji; Minister for Ministry of agriculture and Forests launched the book on National Gid Disease Prevention and Control Plan Coinciding with the first Royal High Land festival celebrated from October 16-18 at Laya, Gasa.
Yak rearing is an age old traditional practice which are the means of livelihood for farmers living in the high altitude areas. Yak herding is an important source of rural income through the sale of yak products and use of pack yaks for tourism.
However since 1950’s, a parasitic disease called Coenurosis or Gid has been affecting the yaks of one to three years of age resulting in high mortality rate.
Gid is a disease of the central nervous system in yaks and sheep caused by Coenurus cerebralis; the larval stage of tapeworm Taenia multiceps which infects the small intestine of carnivores. Yak dogs among other canine species is considered as the main definitive host for adult Gid tapeworm in the country.
The Gid disease is reported in yak rearing Dzongkhags of Haa, Paro, Thimphu, Gasa and Bumthang. The figures showed that between 2000 and 2015, approximately 9,464 yak calves have died of this disease.
The clinical signs of acute coenurosis are associated with an inflammatory and allergic reaction with transient pyrexia and relatively mild neurological signs such as listlessness and slight head aversion. Whereas in chronic coenurosis the earliest signs are behavioral with affected animal tending to stand apart from the herd and react slowly to external stimuli. As the cyst grow the signs progress to depression, unilateral blindness, circling, altered head position, incoordination, paralysis, recumbency and death.
Gid is an economically important disease for the pastoralist, the guideline was developed to provide a more strategic and effective approach to deal with the disease incidences. Generally the control of Gid disease involved social, cultural and management aspect of yak rearing system in the highland.
In order to tackle Gid Disease problems, Department of Livestock came up with a National Gid Gisease Prevention and Control Plan. This requires prevention and control in the definitive hosts like dogs, candid and wild animals. The host animal population and movement needs be controlled and managed. The host animal needs be dewormed and effectiveness should be assessed through regular laboratory surveillance.
Whereas the intermediate hosts or yak should be isolated and restricted from movement to avoid affecting others. The Gid affected yak and contaminated meat especially head should be disposed properly. The farmers are encouraged to inform and submit the gid affected yak head to be examined by the Livestock extensions officials. Similarly, all young yaks of 1 to 3 years of age are encouraged to be dewormed two times a year with Albendazole tablets. Through implementation of Gid prevention and control strategies, Department of Livestock eventually strive to achieve freedom from Gid Disease by 2025.
-Reported by Tashi Yangzom with Photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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