Lumpy Skin Disease: More cows affected, milk production drops

Due to the ongoing lumpy skin disease in Punjab, milk production has been hit by 15-20 per cent. About 50,200 cows have been infected by the LSD, out of which 1,314 cows have died so far. According to the 20th Livestock Census, Punjab has a total of 25 lakh cows, though milk producing cattle is half that count.

Around 1.10 crore litre of milk is sold daily in the state. Of this, at least 66 lakh litre is sold in the organised sector, comprising dairy cooperatives. The demand remains but there is a shortfall in production.

The Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann has declared high alert in the four districts — Tarn Taran, Muktsar, Fazilka and Bathinda and sealed the bordering areas adjoining Rajasthan.

On Wednesday, 270 cows died and 6,200 more cows were infected. CM Mann has also formed a committee headed by finance minister Harpal Singh Cheema, panchayat minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and Animal Husbandry Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar, two secretary-level officer and a director to oversee the arrangements to ensure that the infected cattle are treated in time and the spread of disease is curbed at the earliest.

Even though, 90,000 cows have already been vaccinated in Punjab, the disease is still spreading. About 2.33 lakh doses have already reached the state and another two lakh doses are in the pipeline.

The districts of Bhatinda, Faridkot, Fazilka and Muktsar is witnessing carcasses in big number and the flies and mosquitoes coming in contact with the carcasses which spread the infection have become a major challenge for the authorities to bring the disease under control.

In Haryana, the situation is comparatively better. About 5,900 cases of LSD have been reported from Haryana in 482 villages. Most of the cases have been reported from Ambala, Yamunanagar Kurukshetra and Sirsa. However, no data about the death count of the cattle has been provided.

In Gujarat, from where the disease was first reported, close to 2,600 cattle have died while in Rajasthan, 6,000 cows have died due to the disease.