Livestock is one of the important sectors of India. It is often termed as the key allied sector of agriculture. Jammu and Kashmir, due to its rich natural resources and topography, has a sound base for livestock. The livestock is a promising sector for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir for self-employment and turning entrepreneurs.
What Is Lumpy Skin Disease
Lumpy skin disease that has surfaced this year has had damaging impacts on the livestock of the country and Jammu Kashmir has been no exception in this regard.
As a matter of fact, Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) is an infectious disease in cattle caused by a virus of the family Poxviridae, also known as Neethling virus.
The disease is characterized by large fever, enlarged superficial lymph nodes and multiple nodules (measuring 2–5 centimetres (1–2 in) in diameter) on the skin and mucous membranes (including those of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts).
Infected cattle also may develop edematous swelling in their limbs and exhibit lameness. The virus has important economic implications since affected animals tend to have permanent damage to their skin, lowering the commercial value of their hide. Additionally, the disease often results in chronic debility, reduced milk production, poor growth, infertility, abortion, and sometimes death.
The facts related to Lumpy Skin Disease in the country are worrying to say the least.
1.10 Lakh Deaths In India Due to LSD
Lumpy skin disease has already infected over 2.4 million animals and has led to over 1,10,000 cattle deaths in India, according to latest data from the government.
It has a proud reality for us that India is the world’s largest milk producer and has the world’s largest cattle population. But lumpy skin disease has been threatening livelihoods of farmers in the country.
Mass Vaccination Of Cattle
It is a worrying statistic that by the second week of October, the number of lumpy skin disease cases had rocketed to around 45,400 in Jammu and Kashmir.
The bright development is that the surging numbers of lumpy skin disease among cows in the Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of country may see a decline, after the government started mass vaccination of animals.
Recently, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Agriculture Production Department Atal Dulloo reviewed the status of vaccination for lumpy skin disease in all districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
ACS had a meeting with Directors of Animal Husbandry Kashmir and Jammu, Chief Animal Husbandry Officers and District Animal Husbandry Officers of J&K besides other senior officers including experts from SKUAST.
Atal Dulloo set a deadline of November 5 for completing carpet vaccination of eligible cattle population in all districts of the UT. He directed the departmental staff to take part in the vaccination procedure on top priority.
Some Concerns Regarding Efficacy Of Vaccine
One more worrying reality is that officials in Rayalaseema area of Andhra Pradesh are on alert as efficacy of the goat pox vaccine, which is being given to the cattle affected by lumpy skin disease in the region, is reportedly not satisfactory. Some of the vaccinated cattle was affected again.
Climate change is increasing diseases among animals which is a major worry for all countries.
Studies also point out that cases of mastitis, a major health problem in the dairy industry worldwide, increase during summer. Mastitis has a significant correlation with heat stress due to suppressed immunity, thermal injury of the udder and spread of pathogens in the summer.
If animals especially like Cow and Buffalo continue to face serious disease like lumpy skin, it would hit hard the supply of all important dairy products like Milk, Curd, Chesse and result in inflation of these products.
The hope is that in coming times the incidence of Lumpy Skin Disease shall be effectively controlled.