After Gujarat, Maharashtra has started reporting lumpy skin disease in cattle, which has put the animal husbandry department on high alert. Sachindra Pratap Singh, commissioner, Animal Husbandry, while speaking to The Indian Express, said cases have been reported from five districts so far with 10 animals likely dead due to the disease.
Caused by a virus, lumpy skin disease has developed into a major threat for both cattle and buffaloes in the country over the last few years.
This year, the disease has been reported from Gujarat, Rajasthan and 20 other states.
Characterised by lumps on the skin, the disease is vector-borne and, if not treated on time, can cause mortality. In most cases, the disease causes reduction in milk production. Stray cases had been reported from Maharashtra since August 5 with Jalgaon, Pune, Ahmednagar and Latur being the epicenters.
Singh said in view of the disease, cattle markets in the major epicenter districts have been suspended. This week, Loni market in the Rahata taluka of Ahmednagar district will remain closed for cattle; it will continue to operate for goat and sheep.
Vaccination is being taken up within 5 km of the epicenter and the infected animal being isolated.
“Fortunately, the disease is non-zoonotic and does not spread through air. Farmers are being asked to take control measures,” Singh said.
District collectors and Zilla Parishad CEOs have been asked to step up vigilance in view of the disease.
Singh has advised farmers to access veterinary services at the earliest opportunity available.