Wednesday, Dec 07, 2022
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Lumpy Skin Disease: Centre Trying To Control The Disease In Cattle With States, Says PM Modi

Lumpy Skin Disease: Centre Trying To Control The Disease In Cattle With States, Says PM Modi

PM Narendra Modi also noted that Indian scientists have developed a vaccine for the Lumpy Skin Disease. However, it's yet to hit the markets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the Union government is trying along with states to control the Lumpy Skin Disease in cattle.

The disease has infected and killed a large number of cattle across the country. Recently, India developed a vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease but it's still in pre-market stage and it would take some time for it to be available for mass inoculation. .

"Our scientists have also prepared indigenous vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease," Modi said addressing the International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit (IDF WDS) 2022 being organised at India Expo Centre & Mart in Noida.

The Lumpy Skin Disease has emerged as a concern for the dairy sector as milk production is also affected as cattle are infected. The outbreak has been reported in at least 13 states and Union territories, infecting lakhs and killing several thousands of animals.

Modi said the government is committed to 100 per cent vaccination of the cattle.

"We are committed for 100 per cent vaccination of livestock by 2025 for foot and mouth disease," said Modi, adding that India is building the largest database of dairy animals and every animal associated with the dairy sector is being tagged.

He added, "We are doing biometric identification of animals. We have named it Pashu Aadhaar."

What is Lumpy Skin Disease?

Lumpy Skin Disease is a viral disease which spreads through bites of some kinds of flies, mosquitoes, and ticks, according to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

"It causes fever, nodules on the skin and can also lead to death, especially in animals that that have not previously been exposed to the virus," notes EFSA.

The Lumpy Skin Disease was first reported in India in 2019, according to a press release by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. 

Outlook earlier reported the Animal Husbandry Department as saying that the disease, which originated in Africa, came to India this year via Pakistan in April.

The extent of the current outbreak

The following 13 states and Union territories have reported the Lumpy Skin Disease infection:

Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Goa, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Delhi.

As of August-end, around 11.21 lakh cattle were infected and 49,628 were dead from the Lumpy Skin Disease, according to official data.

Status of Lumpy Skin Disease vaccine

While Lumpy Skin Disease vaccine has been developed, it's yet to hit the markets as the government body that developed it is still in the process of drawing contracts with private manufacturers that would produce it at scale.

In the absense of dedicated Lumpy Skin Disease vaccine, goat and sheep pox vaccines are being administered to cattle to safeguard against Lumpy Disease.

These vaccines are around 60-70 per cent effective against Lumpy Skin Disease as this belongs to the same family of viruses as goat and sheep pox.

(With PTI inputs)

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