November 26, 2019
India reports lumpy skin disease outbreak among cattle in Odisha
China has issued a warning notification against cattle imports from India, while experts believe swift action by the government can prevent cattle exports to other countries from being banned, reported The Hindu Business Line India.
Fauzan Alavi, representing the All India Meat & Livestock Exporters Association said the lumpy skin disease outbreak only affects cattle and not buffalo, with no meat facilities located in Odisha or neighbouring states.
India's Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on November 18 of three positive lumpy skin disease cases in August – two in Mayurbhanj, Odisha, and one in Bhadrak, Odisha.
After the OIE was notified by India, China's customs department issued a warning notice against cattle and cattle-related product imports from India. The notice also said any confiscated illegally imported cattle and related products will be destroyed under customs supervision.
Alavi said China will follow guidelines provided by OIE, which stipulate that meat exports are risk-free when deboned and deglanded.
Professor Biswajit Dhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University said to protect India's cattle exports, the government needs to implement proper quarantine measures, so the disease will not spread to major meat production locations.
He added that to identify cattle products that come from affected lumpy skin disease locations, proper labelling should be implemented.
Buffalo meat is not officially exported to China. However, a large quantity of buffalo meat from India and Brazil is smuggled through ports and roads.
India has exported US$3.58 billion buffalo meat between 2018 to 2019.
Lumpy skin disease in infectious and damages the cattle's hide. Infected cattle could have chronic debility, lower milk production, poor growth, infertility or possible death.
- The Hindu Business Line India