Chandigarh: Over 400 cattle have died due to lumpy skin disease in Punjab in a month and around 20,000, mostly cows, have been infected, a senior official said on Saturday.
Barnala, Bathinda, Faridkot, Jalandhar, Moga and Muktsar are among the worst-affected districts of the state, joint director of Punjab Animal Husbandry Department Ram Pal Mittal said.
Meanwhile, Punjab Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar, on Saturday, visited affected areas in Fazilka district.
Bhullar said the animal husbandry department was taking all necessary steps to prevent the spread of the disease.
The government has released an amount of Rs 76 lakh to all the districts of the state, said the minister.
He also appealed to farmers not to buy cattle from other states for the time being to prevent the spread of the disease.
The department has issued an advisory for protecting animals from the viral infection.
The first confirmed case of lumpy skin disease (LSD) was reported in Punjab on July 4, joint director Mittal said.
“Around 20,000 cases of LSD have been reported so far in Punjab and 424 cattle have died,” said Mittal.
Mostly cows have been affected by the disease, with infections being reported from ‘gaushalas’ and dairy farms, he added.
LSD is caused by a virus of the capripox genus. It spreads rapidly among cows and buffaloes through flies, mosquitoes and ticks.
It causes soft blister-like nodules all over the body, fever, runny nose, watery eyes, salivation, reduced milk yield and difficulty in eating.
Minister Bhullar said he has directed officials to regularly visit the livestock farms and take necessary measures to prevent the animals from contracting the disease.
Bhullar urged livestock farmers that if an animal dies, the carcass should not be thrown in the open, but it should be buried to stop the spread of the disease.
According to the advisory issued by the Animal Husbandry Department, an animal that has contracted LSD should be separated from others to check the spread of the infection.
The movement of such animals should also be restricted, the advisory stated.
Animals affected by LSD should be given green fodder and a liquid diet, joint director Mittal told PTI, adding that cattle owners should maintain hygienic conditions and spray disinfectants in animal sheds.
The state government has already instructed field veterinary staff to intensify the campaign for the prevention of the contagious disease.
It has also ordered that veterinary officers be deputed in the worst-affected districts with immediate effect.
Instructions have been issued to district deputy directors of the Animal Husbandry Department to intensify field visits.