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Punjab is grappling with a new kind of disease called 'Goat pox'. Over 50,000 animals have been administered doses of the goat pox vaccine to check the spread of lumpy skin disease (LSD) among cattle in Punjab.

The northern state has witnessed cases of lump skin disease, especially among cows.

Punjab's Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, and Dairy Development Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar said that more than 2.33 lakh doses of goat pox have already been arranged and 1.67 lakh doses distributed in the districts and affected areas.

"District deputy directors of the department have been instructed to immediately contact the head office for any requirement of vaccine so that the vaccination drive does not face any hindrance," said the minister.

He said that a total of 673 teams of veterinary officers and inspectors have been constituted by the department and they are constantly engaged in vaccination and awareness campaigns.

Yesterday, the Punjab government procured 66,000 doses of goat pox vaccine from Hyderabad to check the spread of lumpy skin disease among cattle in the state.

Not just Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Andaman, Nicobar Island, and Uttarakhand have also been hit by the goat pox outbreak. The lumpy skin disease was initially reported in Odisha in September 2019.

Till Saturday, over 400 cattle have died due to lumpy skin disease in a month and around 20,000, mostly cows, have been infected in Punjab. Barnala, Bathinda Faridkot, Jalandhar, Moga, and Muktsar were among the worst-affected districts of the state.

Lumpy skin disease infects cows and buffaloes mainly through vectors like blood-feeding insects. It leads to the formation of nodes on the animal's skin or hide that look like lumps, fever, runny nose, reduced milk yield, and difficulty in eating.

Bhullar said the vaccine doses will be administered free of cost to healthy livestock. He added 76 lakh has been disbursed to all districts and veterinary officers have also been deputed to help the field staff. He urged farmers to bury the carcass and not throw it in the open. The minister also asked them not to buy cattle from other states. The centre is also assisting the affected states in undertaking training and vaccination as per the demand submitted by the states.

 

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