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Investigation of productivity in a south Indian Malabari goat herd shows opportunities for planned animal health management to improve food security
  1. N. D. Sargison1,
  2. S. A. J. Ivil1,
  3. J. Abraham2,
  4. S. P. S. Abubaker3,
  5. A. M. Hopker1,
  6. S. Mazeri1,
  7. I. A. Otter4 and
  8. N. Otter5
  1. 1Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, University of Edinburgh, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
  2. 2Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookot, Wayanad 673576, Kerala, India
  3. 3Kerala State Veterinary Council, Peroorkada PO, Thiruvananthapuram 695005, Kerala, India
  4. 4Worldwide Veterinary Service, International Training Centre, Gramya Bhavan/RDO-building complex, Aruvankadu 643202, Tamil Nadu, India
  5. 5India Project for Animals and Nature, Hill View Farm Animal Refuge, Mavanalla, Masinagudi PO, Nilgiris 643223, Tamil Nadu, India
  1. E-mail for correspondence: neil.sargison{at}ed.ac.uk

Abstract

Here the authors report the objective veterinary clinical measurement of productivity in a representative south Indian Malabari goat herd. The authors show failure to meet pragmatic production targets that are commensurate with the animals’ genetic potential or adequate to meet the demands of global food security. The authors suggest that this situation may have arisen as a consequence of animal husbandry constraints and protein undernutrition and imply the involvement of nematode parasitism. Benzimidazole resistance was detected in Haemonchus species, showing the need for better understanding of the principles of sustainable helminth parasite control within the southern Indian context. This study highlights the need to understand the true costs of goat production in seasonally resource-poor environments, while also considering its impact on the overall ecosystem in which the animals are placed. They conclude that pragmatic opportunities for improvements in goat production efficiency lie in the development of problem-focused planned animal health and nutrition management.

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