Daily Milk collection drops as Lumpy Skin Disease takes over 1,500 cattle lives.
With the feared viral disease Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) taking over 1,500 cattle lives in Gujarat in the last 3-4 months, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel went to visit Kutch, the worst-affected region, on Tuesday to examine the administration’s treatment and vaccine activities.
Patel paid a visit to isolation and immunization centers in Kutch as the infection spread to 20 of the 33 districts, affecting the majority of milk-producing areas.
According to government data as of August 1, 2,083 villages across 20 districts had reported a pox virus outbreak, which is thought to be spread by mosquitoes, bees, and other insects.
Kutch district accounts for around 38,000 of the 54,000 recorded cases in the state so far. Till today, around 10 lakh healthy animals have been immunized.
Ahmedabad-based Hester Biosciences Limited created a goat-pox vaccine that has been repurposed with dosage adjustments.
Additional ground forces
The Gujarat government has increased its human resources to deal with the outbreak. Infected animals are being treated, according to Gujarat agriculture and animal husbandry minister Raghavji Patel. ‘Cattle breeders need not be concerned about the present epidemic because the government is closely monitoring the progress of the sickness and taking immediate action to contain it. Adequate immunizations are accessible from the state,’ he added in a statement.
In the impacted areas of Kutch, Jamnagar, Devbhumi, Dwarka, and Banaskantha, the government has dispatched teams from veterinary institutes, comprising postgraduate students and professors.
Approximately 192 veterinary officials and 568 cattle observers are on the ground, with an additional 298 outsourced veterinary personnel deployed through mobile cattle hospitals — one for each of ten communities — for inspection, treatment, and immunization.
The effect on milk output
The Chief Minister of Kutch has urged milk producers and cattle breeders to vaccinate healthy animals and isolate those showing signs of sickness. In the last week, the government’s toll-free helpline received almost 15,000 calls on LSD.
The State government issued a statement prohibiting livestock movement in 14 impacted districts, dubbed ‘restricted zones,’ on July 26. Also Read | Gujarat began vaccinating milch cattle against dreadful Lumpy Skin Disease.
While there is no information on the impact of the LSD outbreak on milk production, dairy unions in Saurashtra have reported a 2-3% decrease in daily milk collection.