Nagaland has been declared a Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) positive state as more than 900 cattle were found afflicted with the infectious ailment in eight of the 16 districts, an official notification said on Thursday.
The government of the northeastern state has decided to take all preventive measures including vaccination and isolation to save the animals, most of which are ‘thuto’ cattle which is indigenous to Nagaland.
In light of the positive cases detected, Nagaland has been declared as an LSD positive state, said the government notification issued by Vikeyie Kenya, the Commissioner & Secretary of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department.
“This declaration is made in accordance with The Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009,” he said.
According to data compiled by the Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services department till July 24, a total of 931 cattle, especially ‘thutho’, have been infected with LSD in 31 places of eight districts since January. Of the total infected cattle, 49 have died.
‘Thutho’ is a new cattle breed in the country, which got registered on January 24, 2020.
“Thutho cattle are indigenous to Nagaland, and are medium in size, hardy, well-built and docile. Body colour is predominantly black… The animal is used for draught, manure and meat purposes. Milk yield is less (0.5-1.5 kg per day). Population size is approximately 53,000,” according to ICAR-National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources.
All preventive measures are being taken to prevent the spread of LSD, a viral disease, following the guidelines of issued by the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying.
As per the state’s data, the districts have a total of 44,853 susceptible animals (cattle) to be vaccinated, while only 1,602 have been inoculated while 522 have recovered.
On the reasons for the slow progress of vaccination, a department official said no vaccine is available for LSD as it is an emerging disease.
“The department is administering goat pox vaccine which is bringing down the severity of the disease. But it is only helping partially,” he said.
There is another problem. While domesticated cattle have been vaccinated, inoculating thutho is difficult as they are semi-wild animals and left open in the forest, the official said.
He said that though the department is trying to isolate the infected animals, it is also of not much help as LSD can be transferred also through blood-feeding insects such as certain types of mosquitoes and flies.
The eight districts where LSD has been found are Mon, Kohima, Mokokchung, Niuland, Peren, Chumoukedima, Phek and Tuensang.
The states affected by the disease last year included Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir.
LSD is an infectious, eruptive and occasionally fatal disease of cattle characterised by nodules on the skin and other parts of the body. Originally found in Africa, it has spread to countries in Asia and Eastern Europe.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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