Cases of cattle getting infected with the lumpy skin disease are gradually rising in Dakshina Kannada. The district has reported 1,341 cases so far, of which, 333 have recovered after treatment.
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services has recorded 24 deaths of cattle (as on December 18).
The district reported the first case with three cattle from a house getting infected with the disease at Biliyoor in Bantwal taluk on October 10. Of which, one had succumbed to the disease and two others had recovered.
To check the spread of lumpy skin disease in cattle, the Deputy Commissioner has banned the transportation of cattle within the district and from outside the district till December end.
Also read | Explained: What is lumpy skin disease?
The lumpy skin disease, caused by a virus called capripox, spreads from the infected cattle to healthy ones.
According to the Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Dr Arun Kumar Shetty, the disease spreads among cows and buffaloes. It is spread via mosquitoes and ticks.
“If farmers come across the disease among their cattle, they should not panic and visit the nearest veterinary clinic for treatment. The disease is not transmitted to humans,” he said.
The symptoms include nodules on the skin, fever, reduced milk production, loss of appetite and watery eyes.
‘’By isolating the infected cattle from other cattle, the spread of the disease can be checked. Cowsheds should be cleaned thoroughly daily. Measures should be initiated to check the mosquito menace near the cowsheds. As soon as the disease was reported in the district, the department had taken steps to vaccinate cattle in the affected areas and also in the gaushalas in the district,’’ he added.
“Compared to other districts, the spread of the lumpy skin disease in Dakshina Kannada is slow. All steps have been taken to contain the spread of the disease amid the shortage of
staff in the department,” Dr Arun said.
“The department is taking steps to vaccinate the cattle against the disease. The vaccination drive is in progress. So far, 49 per cent of the cattle have been administered with a vaccine in the district. There is no shortage of vaccine.”
‘’Of 24 deaths, compensation has already been paid for seven. As per the government guidelines, maximum of Rs 5,000 compensation is given for death of calf, Rs 30,000 for ox and Rs 20,000 for cow,’’ he added.
With the rise in number of infected cattle and the shortage of staff, the department is planning to submit a proposal to the deputy commissioner seeking the appointment of veterinary doctors at the local level to administer vaccines and treat the infected cattle.