Jalandhar, August 14
Even as the third lot of the goat pox vaccine has been received at the state level to fight lumpy skin disease (LSD), Jalandhar, the worst-hit district with 5,967 cases as on Saturday, is grappling with a shortage of doses. Many dairy farm owners say they haven’t received the vaccine yet.
Goat pox vaccine shortage persists
At Adampur, 132 heads of cattle have been vaccinated so far, even though there’s a demand for over 5,000 to 6,000 doses of the vaccine in the region. “We have been carrying out field visits, but we need vaccine to keep a check on the lumpy skin disease,” said health officials.
Immunisation for only healthy animals
Doctors and experts have said as per the guidelines by the Central Government, only healthy cows are to be vaccinated in the district. “Cows which might be in their incubation period can’t be vaccinated. Animals which are at least 5 to 6 km from an infected area will be administered doses. Hence, suspected cows are left out of the vaccination process as per the established protocol,” experts said.
Relying on neem, smoke
We had two cows infected with LSD initially. As per doctors’ advice, we immediately separated them from the rest. In absence of the goat pox vaccine, we relied on neem leaves and smoke to avoid an outbreak. — Sukhjit Singh, A farmer in Chuharwali village
The district, with an estimated head of cattle of over 1.50 lakh, has vaccinated only 9,781 cows so far. At least 53 cows have died in the district so far and the number could increase in the wake of rising infection. Until Friday, there were 5,631 infected cows and 48 deaths in the district. On Saturday, 336 new cases and five more deaths added to the overall figure.
“We had two cows infected with LSD initially. As per doctors’ advice, we immediately separated the infected cows from the rest. However, our area is yet to see the goat pox vaccine. We are relying on neem leaves and smoke to avoid an outbreak. Thankfully, our sick animals have recovered and others haven’t caught the infection,” said Sukhjit Singh, a farmer in Chuharwali village.
Lucky Malhotra, owner of Shri Panchvati Mandir Dharmashala Gaushala, Basti Gujan, Jalandhar, said: “We have four to five cows affected due to LSD. Doctors come and prescribe medicines. So far, they have advised us against vaccine. We have 115 cows and we are taking all precautions advised.”