After human beings, it is now the turn of cattle and buffaloes to observe social distancing as the state government has banned any kind of movement or gathering of these animals within and outside controlled zones following a rise in Lumpy skin disease (LSD) cases.
Earlier last week, the government issued a notification prohibiting the movement of all cattle and buffaloes from places where they have been kept to areas within and outside controlled zones in response to the spread of LSD. The government declared the entire state a controlled zone. The notification – issued by principal secretary Jagdish Gupta on Thursday – also banned races, fairs, exhibitions and all such activities that could see a gathering of the bovine species.
Dr Shivaji Vidhate, district animal husbandry officer, zilla parishad (ZP) Pune, said that once an animal tests positive for LSD, it is isolated. “It is a part of the protocol that once cattle are seen with lumps on the skin, they are isolated from other animals and kept in a different shed. The space around the isolated cattle is also disinfected and sprayed to kill mosquitoes as mosquitoes may transmit the virus to other cattle,” Dr Vidhate said.
LSD has spread in a total 280 villages across 19 districts of Maharashtra including Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Akola, Dhule, Pune, Latur, Aurangabad, Beed, Satara, Buldhana, Amravati, Osmanabad, Kolhapur, Sangli, Yeotmal, Parbhani, Solapur, Washim and Nashik till September 10 this year. A total 42 infected animals have died till Sunday, including 17 in Jalgaon district, 13 in Ahmednagar district, one in Dhule, one in Akola, three in Pune, three in Buldhana, three in Amravati, and one in Washim district.
Animal husbandry commissioner Sachindra Pratap Singh said that the number of infected animals is on the rise and that farmers have been advised to isolate the infected animals. “We have instructed farmers to isolate the infected animals and vaccinate all cattle within a 5 km radius to avoid spread of the disease,” Singh said.
Besides Maharashtra, many other states have also prohibited the movement of cattle. LSD has also been reported in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.