A total of 999 cattle, especially cows and buffaloes, have died in Gujarat due to the lumpy skin disease, state Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister Raghavji Patel said.
The viral disease has been reported in 14 districts where over 37,000 animals have been treated for the ailment and 2.68 lakh vaccinated to prevent its spread, a government release issued on Sunday said quoting the minister.
Since the first case of the disease appeared in the state, a high-level meeting was called to make appropriate arrangements for its control. As a result, the disease has been stopped from spreading further, Patel said without specifying when the first case had come to light. Lumpy skin is a viral disease spread by mosquitoes, flies, lice, wasps, by direct contact among the cattle, and through contaminated food and water. The main symptoms are fever in animals, discharge from eyes and nose, salivation from mouth, soft blisters like nodules all over the body, reduced milk production, difficulty in eating, which sometimes lead to the animal’s death, the release said.
The viral disease has been reported in Gujarat’s 14 districts — Kutch, Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Rajkot, Porbandar, Morbi, Surendranagar, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Banaskantha and Surat.
”The disease has been observed in 880 villages, with 37,121 animals treated for it,” Patel said. ”According to the taluka-level epidemiological report, so far 999 cattle have died due to the lumpy skin disease,” the minister said.
The diseased animals in the affected villages were immediately isolated and so far more than 2.68 lakh animals have been vaccinated to prevent its spread, he said.
An extensive survey, treatment and vaccination drive has been undertaken involving 152 veterinary officers and 438 livestock inspectors of the animal husbandry department, he said. An additional 267 outsourced veterinarians and vehicles required for the survey, treatment and vaccination have been added given the special situation, he said. ”For this, continuous monitoring and directions are being given from the state and divisional office levels,” the release said.
In the affected districts, the disease treatment, vaccination and surveys are going on a war footing, it said.
A special control room has been started at the GVK-Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) in Ahmedabad with 24-hour monitoring by officers of the animal husbandry department and having the facility of toll free helpline 1962 for providing immediate treatment and other information about the disease.
A campaign has also been launched to raise awareness about the disease among officials of the animal husbandry department. Apart from this, insecticides are being sprayed to prevent mosquitoes, flies, lice in the animal habitats during the monsoon season, the minister said.