With lumpy skin disease (LSD) spreading rapidly among cattle in West Uttar Pradesh with as many as 21,619 cases and 199 deaths reported from 2,331 villages, state Animal Husbandry Department is preparing to create a 300-km-long “immune belt” — stretching from Pilibhit to Etawah — to control the further spread of the viral disease in other parts of the state.
As per the data available with the Animal Husbandry Department, the viral disease has spread to 23 districts with the highest number of cases reported from Aligarh, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur. Cases have also been reported from other west UP districts like Mathura, Bulandshahr, Baghpat, Hapur, Meerut, Shamli and Bijnor.
The “immunity belt” will pass through 23 blocks of five districts and would be 10 km wide. Officials say the model has been adopted from Malaysia, which used the method in 2020 and had seen positive outcomes.
Under the concept, a special enforcement team will be formed by the Animal Husbandry Department for surveillance under the “immunity belt”, and a task force will be formed to track and treat infected animals.
“Along with this, an intensive vaccination campaign will also be carried out in these blocks,” an official said, adding the target is to administer 2 lakh vaccines n a day.
The 23 blocks identified for the “immunity belt” are Bisalpur, Barkheda, Lalorikheda, Marauri, and Amaria in Pilibhit district; Khudaganj, Nigohi, Sidhauli, Bhawal Kheda, Kant, Jalalabad, and Mirzapur in Shahjahanpur district; Kaimganj, Shamsabad and Rajepur in Farrukhabad district; Kurawali, Sultanganj, and Ghirour in Mainpuri district; and Badhpura, Jaswantnagar, Saifai, Basrehar, and Takha in Etawah district.
Out of the 18 divisions of the state, special vigilance has been ordered in nine, mainly in the west and central Uttar Pradesh.
Sources said the government gave a go-ahead to the proposal after a presentation was made before Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra on Wednesday.
Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox
Earlier, the UP government had ordered to put on hold all cattle fairs and imposed a temporary ban on animal transport.
In an attempt to contain the spread of the virus, isolation centres for affected cattle have also been constructed.
Lumpy skin disease is a contagious viral disease that affects cattle. It is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever, and nodules on the skin and can also lead to death. Though it is primarily a vector-borne disease, LSD can spread through direct contact with the mucus of the infected cattle.