August 2, 2022


Close to 1,200 bovines in Rajasthan, India, died from lumpy skin disease



The outbreak of lumpy skin disease has become a bane for thousands of cattle herders in western and northern Rajasthan, India, where nearly 1,200 bovines have perished to the disease.


Animal husbandry department officials said that the infection has spread among nearly 25,000 cattle in a span of three months. In Jodhpur district alone, 254 cattle succumbed to the disease in the past two weeks drawing the animal husbandry department's attention.


Considering the serious spread of the infection, the department has mobilised teams of doctors in the affected areas and has advised the cattle herders to keep their cattle isolated to shield them from getting infected.


BJP MLA from Raniwara (Jalore) Narayan Singh Dewal has requested the state government to step up its efforts to contain the spread of the infection.


The animal husbandry department has said that the disease which originated in Africa came to India via Pakistan in April.


"Initially, the infection was there in the border districts like Jaisalmer and Barmer but this has now spread to Jodhpur, Jalore, Nagaur, Bikaner, Hanumangarh and other districts in the region," Dr. Arvind Jaitelay, deputy director (disease control) of the Animal Husbandry Department, told PTI in Jaipur. "Our teams are already working in the affected areas." He said that the disease is mainly affecting cows, particularly the indigenous ones and close to 25,000 bovines have been affected so far.


"Infection is rapidly spreading in cows having low immunity. Because of low immunity, other diseases attack and the animal dies," he said.


He added that there is no treatment or vaccine for lump disease and treatment is given as per symptoms. The primary symptoms are pox on skin, high fever and a runny nose.


"We have mobilised our teams of veterinarians in the affected villages. They have been camping in the villages and providing treatment to the infected cattle," said joint director of animal husbandry, Jodhpur Sanjay Singhvi.


The disease also had a severe economic impact.


Areas like Phalodi, Osian, Baap and Lohawat, among others, in Jodhpur have hundreds of cattle already infected.


Singhvi said that 5-10% of the total population of cattle has so far been infected by the lumpy disease in the district.


"We have reported 254 cattle mortality in the past two weeks. However, the number of recovered cattle is higher," he added.


A team of the department from Jaipur also visited Jodhpur on July 20. The team provided insight to the local team into the disease and its prevention.


MLA Narayan Singh Dewal recently wrote a letter to the animal husbandry minister and demanded that a special team of doctors and medicines in adequate quantity should be made available to Jalore district in view of the spread of the lumpy skin disease.


He said that more than 60 cows of one cattle rearer in his constituency succumbed to the infection, in addition to several other rearers grappling with deaths of their cattle from the disease.


Alok Singhal, secretary of Pathmeda Gaudham in Jalore, said that the condition in villages is poor and needs urgent attention from authorities.


"The disease is spreading very fast. Over 100 cattle have died in 50 branches of our gaushala in Jalore," he said.


Singhal said that villagers are also coming to the Gaushala with their infected cattle in serious condition. According to him, the disease is infecting only indigenous breeds and spreading fast along them.


Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary said that a team of scientists from the Indian Agriculture Research Institute was sent to study the disease spreading in cows in western Rajasthan.


The minister admitted that the disease has been responsible for the deaths of a large number of cows and suffering of hundreds of farmers.

- The Hindu

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