Chandigarh, August 6
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.
The department has also 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, Mittal said.
"Around 20,000 cases of LSD have been reported so far in Punjab and 424 cattle have died," he said.
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.
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, Mittal said, 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.
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