The other states that reported a high number of casualties among cattle include Maharashtra (24,430), Punjab (17,932), Karnataka (12,244) and Himachal Pradesh (10,681). Though Gujarat is among the top affected states, the casualty figure in the state is less (6,193) compared to the top five.
Sharing state-wise data of casualties among cattle due to LSD in the Rajya Sabha, the ministry of animal husbandry and dairying on Friday claimed that the disease is presently under control with vaccination underway, and around 6.26 crore animals have, so far, been vaccinated.
The ministry’s data shows that over 29.45 lakh cattle have, so far, been affected by the infection across 22 states/UTs this year. Over 25.5 lakh cattle have, however, already been recovered from the disease which was first reported in cattle in Odisha in September 2019.
Though LSD is primarily a disease of cows, emerging evidence suggests that it can also cause mild illness in buffalo, camel, deer and horse. Its spread in unnatural hosts this year had raised concerns about its zoonotic implication.
“The confirmatory evidence of human infection is, however, lacking,” said a scientist from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (ICAR) whose Hisar-based institute, National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE), has developed a homologous live-attenuated vaccine (LumpiProVac Ind). The vaccine technology has been transferred through Agrinnovate India Limited to two firms – Biovet Private Limited, Bengaluru, and Indian Immunologicals Limited, Hyderabad, for its production.
The ministry informed the Upper House that it was taking all necessary steps to support the states/UTs to control and contain the disease which include financial and technical support.