The Department of Animal Husbandry must take all necessary steps to stop the spread of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), an infectious viral disease, in cattle. The disease was noticed among the cattle several months back.
The ailment among the cattle was limited to small pockets in Jammu and Kashmir at that time. But as the time passed, the disease spread fast due to lack of preventive and other related measures. Initially, the concerned department seemed clueless to deal with it.
Later, while some measures were taken those proved either insufficient or late. The disease continues to spread even now. The authorities must take effective measures to contain it.
While the mortality rate is said to be low but reports that milk production gets reduced in the infected cattle after recovery from the disease continues to be the cause of concern among the farmers.
According to official figures more than 72, 000 cattle have been affected by LSD in Jammu and Kashmir so far. The recovery rate of 90 percent and average fatality rate of around four percent has also been reported. Till August this year, 12,831 cattle were affected.
So the spread of disease could not be stopped effectively since August and that is why thousands of cattle got infected and hundreds died also. As the disease began to spread, there was panic among the farmers. They alleged that vaccination of the cattle was not being done and that there was no testing for the disease.
Now the authorities say that 96 percent eligible cattle has been vaccinated against the LSD. There is also immediate need to lower the mortality rate.
The farmers must also listen to the advice of experts and should continue giving recommended treatment to the infected animals for at least 10 days, post recovery, to prevent death caused due to thromboembolism.
According to experts, LSD is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever, nodules on the skin in animals and can also lead to death. Last year also the disease was noticed among the cattle at some places.
But this year it spread fast and infected the cattle in vast area of Jammu and Kashmir.
The outbreak of disease is a concern not only in Jammu and Kashmir, but also in other states and union territories, where thousands of cattle died and lakhs others got infected.
Jammu and Kashmir has a livestock population of 31 lakh including 11.4 lakh in Kashmir. All efforts must be made to keep the cattle safe.