Lumpy skin disease: Herders a worried lot as nearly 6,000 cases in Haryana, northern districts worst-hit

Published on Aug 10, 2022 03:06 AM IST

Officials in animal husbandry and dairying department said 5,856 cases of lumpy skin disease were reported in 400 villages of Haryana. Maximum cases are from Yamunanagar, Ambala, Kurukshetra and Sirsa

The highly contagious lumpy skin disease (LSD) has now infected thousands of cattle in Haryana. (HT File Photo)
The highly contagious lumpy skin disease (LSD) has now infected thousands of cattle in Haryana. (HT File Photo)
ByNeeraj Mohan and Sunil Rahar, Karnal/rohtak:

The highly contagious lumpy skin disease (LSD) has now infected thousands of cattle in Haryana. With the authorities having failed to launch a vaccination drive to control the disease so far, the hapless herders of the northern districts of Haryana are struggling to protect their cattle.

As per the ground reports, in the beginning, the infection was reported in a few foreign breed cows in the Radaur block of Yamunanagar district. But the virus has now been reported in almost all northern districts of the state.

Officials in the state animal husbandry and dairying department have provided the figures that 5,856 cases of LSD were reported in around 400 villages of the state. The maximum cases are from Yamunanagar, Ambala, Kurukshetra and Sirsa districts. However, the officials did not provide the data of the cattle that died due to the disease but said cattle with low immunity and lack of proper care were more prone to death.

The director general of the Haryana animal husbandry department, BS Laura on Sunday visited some villages in Yamunanagar and Ambala districts.

However, the number of infected cattle provided by the department seems less than the cases being reported by farmers and local veterinary doctors as they claim that more than 50 per cent of the cows of the foreign, cross and even indigenous breeds got infected in several villages of Yamunanagar, Ambala and Kurukshetra districts.

“The first case of the LSD came to my knowledge from Sili Kalan village of Yamunanagar district in the first week of July when one cow died mysteriously. Later, the virus spread to hundreds of cows and now at least 20 deaths were reported from the nearby villages in the past one month and more than 30 others are infected,” said Ravinder Kumar, a veterinary doctor from Radaur in Yamunanagar district.

Another veterinary doctor Pankaj Kumar from Ladwa of Kurukshetra district said, “The cases are being reported from almost every village I visit but the rate of death is very low as now farmers are taking precautions and safety measures.”

Dr Naresh Jindal, director research at the Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (LUVAS), Hisar, said cows are the worst hit by the lumpy skin disease, which is caused by a virus called capripoxvirus. Even buffalos are also getting affected by LSD but their proportion is less as compared to cows.

“Farmers can also use nets to protect their cattle and spray disinfectants. The details of the procurement of the goat pox vaccine will be revealed by state government officials. The dead animals should be disposed of by burning the bodies at high temperature,” he added.

The state animal husbandry and dairying department did not provide any specific data of the animals that died due to LSD but on August 6, the department uploaded a copy of the advisory issued by the Union ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying department in September last year.

Department of animal husbandry and dairying veterinary surgeon Dr Narender Thakral said farmers are advised to isolate the infected animals from the others and use some anti-allergic vaccines to reduce the impact of the virus.

The major outbreaks of the viral disease, which is spread by bloodsucking insects, certain species of flies and through contaminated food and water, have also been reported in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

As per veterinary experts, the disease causes acute fever, discharges from the eyes and nose, salivation, soft blister-like nodules all over the body, marked reduction in milk yield, difficulty in eating, and sometimes also leads to the death of the animal. The mortality rate for the contagion is 1 to 5%. But the disease is not zoonotic as it does not spread from animals to humans.

Pankaj Yadav, commissioner, and secretary to the Haryana, animal husbandry and dairying department, said that an advisory to prevent, control and contain the disease has been issued to all deputy directors. He said field staff has been sensitised and medicines have also been supplied for symptomatic treatment of LSD.

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