Lumpy Disease Ravages Cattle in Gujarat, Rajasthan
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: NDTV
State governments in Gujarat and Rajasthan are in a tizzy as the fatal Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) has run over the countryside, infecting thousands of vulnerable bovine animals. As per reports, more than 12,000 cattle have died in Gujarat, while more than 1,000 have perished in Rajasthan, where the disease has begun spreading now.
According to officials, LSD has spread to 17 out of the total 33 districts in Gujarat. These include Kutch, Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Rajkot, Porbandar, Morbi, Surendranagar, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Banaskantha, Patan, Surat, Aravalli and Panchmahal.
In the neighbouring state of Rajasthan, where the infection was initially reported from the border districts of Jaisalmer and Barmer, has since spread to the districts such as Jodhpur, Jalore, Sirohi, Nagaur and Bikaner. The disease has mainly affected indigenous cows and spread rapidly among the bovines having low immunity.
According to a report by Times of India, rotting carcasses have been emanating a terrible stench in villages of Kutch, Rajkot, and Jamnagar, adding to the woes of cattle-rearers. Heart-wrenching videos of hundreds of dead cows lying in the open near the district headquarter Bhuj surfaced even as the municipality struggled to find ways of disposal. The machinery of civic bodies is collapsing under the tremendous number of corpses waiting to be cleared.
The situation in Rajasthan is not much better. According to The Hindu, while the dairy sector has been adversely affected by LSD, the outbreak of the infection has posed a threat to the State’s position as a stronghold of cattle and livestock. According to the 20th Livestock Census undertaken in 2019, the livestock population in Rajasthan was 5.68 crore, and the cattle population was 1.39 crore. If the crisis is not controlled urgently, things can get from bad to worse very rapidly.
In a bid to control the viral spread, the Gujarat government has published a notification dated July 26, banning the movement of cattle and fairs, an official release said.
As per a notification issued by the Rajkot district administration, the movement of cattle from other states, districts, talukas and cities has been banned along with cattle trade and fairs, etc., till August 21. The administration has also banned dumping of carcasses in the open, it stated.
As many as 50,328 affected cattle have been treated across 1,746 villages in the affected districts.
Rajasthan government has decided to set up control rooms in Jaipur as well as the affected districts for continuous monitoring of the spread of infections. Animal Husbandry Minister Lalchand Kataria visited Phalodi in Jodhpur district on Monday to take stock of the situation and met the cattle herders whose animals were infected.
Kataria said Rs 1 lakh each had been allocated to the affected districts for purchasing medicines in an emergency situation, while Rs 50,000 each had been released to polyclinics. “Wherever there is a shortage of veterinary personnel, teams will be sent from the neighbouring districts. The nodal officers are also visiting the affected districts and taking effective action,” he said.
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