Milk output drops 15-20 pc in Punjab as lumpy skin disease affects cattle

Published on Aug 28, 2022 07:10 PM IST

According to data provided by the state’s animal husbandry department, total 1.26 lakh cattle have been affected by lumpy skin disease while more than 10,000 animals have died so far because of the infectious disease. Because of mortality among cattle and animals being affected by LSD, average milk production of cows is expected to remain low for at least one year, say Progressive Dairy Farmers’ Association members

A cow infected with lumpy skin disease, in a cow shed in Bathinda. (HT File)
A cow infected with lumpy skin disease, in a cow shed in Bathinda. (HT File)
ByPress Trust of India, Chandigarh

Dairy farmers in Punjab have witnessed 15-20% fall in milk output in wake of lumpy skin disease outbreak in the state, Progressive Dairy Farmers’ Association (PDFA) said on Sunday.

With the contagious disease affecting cattle, especially cows, and also causing mortality among animals, the small and medium dairy farmers, whose livelihood entirely depends on livestock, were the worst-affected, it said.

According to data provided by the state’s animal husbandry department, total 1.26 lakh cattle have been affected by lumpy skin disease (LSD) while more than 10,000 animals have died so far because of the infectious disease.

However, the PDFA claims that more than one lakh cattle have died in the state due to LSD since July. Notably, LSD has mainly affected cows with several districts, including Fazilka, Muktsar, Faridkot, Bathinda and Tarn Taran, being the worst-affected areas in the state.

The disease spreads rapidly among animals through flies, mosquitoes and ticks. It causes soft blister-like nodules all over the body, fever, runny nose, watery eyes, salivation, reduced milk yield and difficulty in eating.

“Because of the outbreak of LSD, milk production in Punjab has dropped by around 15-20 per cent,” said PDFA president Daljit Singh Sadarpura.

“Because of mortality among cattle and animals being affected by LSD, average milk production of cows is expected to remain low for at least one year,” he asserted.

Punjab’s total milk production of cows and buffaloes is around 3 crore litres per day, out of which 1.25 crore litres is sold in the market, said Sadarpura.

Punjab has around 22 lakh cows. Sadarpura said dairy farmers have been the worst affected because of the contagious disease.

Dairy farmers, a few days back, had met Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and sought compensation of 50,000 per animal which died of LSD.

The animal husbandry department has administered around 5.94 lakh doses of vaccine to animals in order to check the spread of the disease. It has also targeted to vaccinate 10 lakh more cattle next week.

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