Thursday, November 14, 2013

Do the "magical" nutritional, cure-all properties of honey work on the virus responsible for foot-and-mouth disease?

How responsible is it for authorities in India to advise farmers to feed their cattle ragi (finger millet; Eleusine coracana) porridge and honey to prevent spread of foot and mouth disease? Honey? Are there any papers on its effectiveness? -- a quick search did not yield any for me. I don't see how it can be practical for farmers in India to feed honey to their cattle.  Plus, if already infected, how do you get animals suffering from foot-and-mouth disease to eat anything?  They will be depressed, exhibit no signs of appetite, and will have likely stopped eating.
If by household bleach, they mean sodium hypochlorite for a disinfectant, isn't this substance unstable in warm and sunny conditions?
Here is a handbook of best practices to prevent spread of foot-and-mouth disease in animals from Iowa State University. 
UpdateAfter my initial and acute sense of incredulousness, I came to, what I thought of as, the only logical and sane explanation for the information in this major newspaper: somebody mixed up concepts of foot and mouth disease in cloven-footed animals with hand-foot-and-mouth disease in people. And hopefully, that somebody was none other than a news intern.
However, my wishful thinking that it must have been a news intern's mistake is not going to hold.
Some online acquaintances helped me connect with some well-respected senior local vets.  I have now become aware that local herbal treatments and homeopathic remedies are still being used for diseases such as FAMD and bluetongue, and trained vets, while emphasizing vaccinations and restriction of movement and NOT actively prescribing local treatments, pass no judgement on local medicine and practices (perhaps it is a politically-wise necessity). I've also learned that there is a department of ethno veterinary medicine in a state veterinary university.  
As I am very much a product of eastern Europe's production animal medicine and America's veterinary epidemiology, I do not know what to do with my new-found information. Still processing...  This on the same day that I became aware that the respected ecologist Allan Savory, who is advocating more livestock rearing to reverse the desertification of the world regretfully confesses to being partly responsible for the organized killing of 40,000 elephants* in Africa to prevent desertification.  
So I guess everyone, whether from north or south, east or west, is allowed the opportunity to make one major mistake in the pursuit of knowledge.   
40,000 elephants shot -- I can't get over that number. I know it is is a different time and different consequences, but the sense of mourning as well as outrage to news that 650 elephants were massacred by local poachers in Chad in 2012 {WARNING: Graphic images.} was so heavy and contagious...I doubt if interventions of that magnitude can be attempted these days.

No comments: