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Lumpy Skin claims 14,000 bovine deaths in a month in Rajasthan

While over 2 lakh cattle have been treated by various therapies mainly Goat Pox vaccine and isolation and quarantine by villagers, one lakh bovines are still afflicted with the viral infection.

Statesman News Service | Jaipur |

In less than a month, over 14,000 cattle, mainly cows, died of a virus caused ‘Lumpy Skin Disease’ (LSD) in at least 22 out of 33 districts in Rajasthan.

While over 2 lakh cattle have been treated by various therapies mainly Goat Pox vaccine and isolation and quarantine by villagers, one lakh bovines are still afflicted with the viral infection, an official said here on Wednesday.

“Rajasthan has lined up for the release and availability of a new + Lumpy-Pro VacIndi+ vaccine developed by ICAR’s National Research Centre Equines (NRCE) in Hisar in collaboration with the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Uttar Pradesh as this vaccine is a homologous live-attenuated LSD vaccine for this very disease afflicting cows in northern states”, Dr N M Singh, Additional Director of the State Animal Husbandry Department (Health) told SNS when contacted.

“The Centre is likely to announce its official release and the Rajasthan government has already furnished its requirement for immediate supply of vaccine as per the guidelines”, he said, adding till then Goat Pox vaccine is being administered to the ailing animals and this drug was giving a good recovery.

Meanwhile, at a high-level review meeting on the LSD emergency late on Tuesday night, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot approved a proposal to recruit 200 veterinary officers and 300 livestock assistants (on temporary basis) with immediate effect.

Making conclusive remarks, the CM said, “The state government is committed to the protection and promotion of livestock. The infection of LSD has spread rapidly in animals of many districts of the state, but it will be controlled soon. There will be no shortage of funds by the government for other needs including medicines, doctors and ambulances. The state government stands with the cattle rearers at all times”.

“A total additional amount of Rs 140 lakh including Rs 8 to 12 lakh has been allocated to the divisional level Ajmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur offices, and Rs 2 to 8 lakh to the rest of the affected districts for the purchase of emergency essential medicines. This amount has been released earlier in the emergency budget in addition to the amount allocated to all district level offices and multipurpose veterinary hospitals,” Gehlot claimed.

LSD is a viral disease and after the onset of SW Monsoonal rains causing high humidity, the outbreak of ‘unknown virus’ (Lumpy Skin) is spreading very fast and getting common in cows (both domestic and wild) with clinical signs of fever, lacrimation, hypersalivation and characteristic skin eruptions.

When asked on the disposal of cattle carcasses as the casualty numbers are rising every day, the Health Director said the district authorities and husbandry personnel deployed in the villages have asked cattle breeders and NGOs to ‘bury them in grave’ at the isolated places and away from the villages and go-shalas and spray salt and soda for early decomposition of the carcasses.