In order to tackle Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) that has impacted “sporadic pockets” in the country, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has supplied 28 lakh doses of goat pox vaccine in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab.
“We have sporadic cases in Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan. We have a subsidiary called Indian Immunologicals Ltd, which manufactures the vaccine… We have supplied 28 lakh goat pox vaccine doses that include 10 lakh doses vaccines for Gujarat in the past 15 days,” said Meenesh Shah, chairman of NDDB, on the sidelines of a media interaction held at the board headquarters in Anand.
“Both NDDB and GCCMF (Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation) are also buying vaccines from Hester Biosciences,” Shah said, without divulging the number of vaccines being procured from the private entity.
“Each vaccine dose costs Rs 3. The best way to counter the disease is vaccinate the animals. The disease will be under control in a short time,” he added.
In Gujarat alone, over 1,600 cattle have died due to LSD and 58,000 animals have been infected by the virus. The government has so far vaccinated 12.75 lakh cattle.
Talking about the reduction in milk procurement in Gujarat due to LSD, RS Sodhi, managing director of GCMMF, said, “The reduction is just 0.25 per cent of our daily procurement. We are seeing a dip of 50,000 litres per day of milk procurement from Kutch.”
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Sodhi said mortality among infected cattle were high in cattle-shelters such as Panjrapoles that lack adequate nutrition and medical care facilities. “The deaths are not happening at farms,” he added.
When asked if NDDB is seeing any instances of milk from infected cattle affecting humans, Meenesh Shah said, “Generally it is not zoonotic unlike many other diseases. But for safety reasons we are asking people to have pasteurised milk or to have boiled milk.”