Salem, Feb 9 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami today laid the foundation stone for the Advanced Institute for Integrated Research on Livestock and Animal Sciences (AIIRLIVAS) at Thalaivasal Koot Road, near here.
This will be the biggest livestock research institute in South Asia and will have modern facilities. The AIIRLIVAS, to be set up at a total cost of Rs 1,000 crore, will provide a further thrust to the livestock sector. A total of 10 major complexes were proposed under AIIRLIVAS. The Livestock farm complex will comprise indigenous cattle unit, sheep and goat unit, piggery unit, native dogs unit, animal quarantine and isolation facilities, farm veterinary hospital, clinical lab and poultry unit. The Institute, to be set up in a sprawling 900 acre area, comes in the backdrop of coronavirus and other zoonotic (animal to human) diseases like SARS and Ebola making global headlines. Official sources said, this advanced institute will focus on developing an advanced lab for zoonotic infections to diagnose new virus strains.
“AIIRLAS proposed at Thalaivasal will be a premier institute to deal with zoonotic infections. The key department will be the advanced lab for virology,” according to former Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) R Prabhakaran, who is also the Officer on Special Duty for setting up the AIIRLAS. The State has, in principle, agreed to spend Rs 40 crore on research of which Rs 30 crore will go into the setting up of the advanced lab.
“The complex zoonosis infections are highly virulent in humans and the role of veterinary science is very crucial. It can help medical practitioners tackle 60 percent of zoonotic communicable diseases', he said. 'Be it animal or human, the virus is the same. Also, microbiologists and virologists with veterinary background can track the origin of the virus and help in diagnosis,” he added. In-depth study of infections in animals will help curtail the majority of zoonotic infections, according to Professor in veterinary science Dr S Prathapan, who retired as Director of clinics at the Madras Veterinary College.
'It is an area which has not had adequate focus in the past. The need is to synergise both veterinary science and medical science. The one-world-one-health concept promoted by the international community is picking up and this will help tame 90 per cent of all viral and bacterial infections,” he added. He said tracking the virus sequence and its virulence on different species is the key and a veterinarian has an advantage when it comes to diagnosing zoonosis at an early stage. (UNI)