Union Minister Parshottam Rupala Tuesday reviewed the vaccination of cattle in Punjab and Haryana in the wake of lumpy skin disease affecting a large number of animals and assured help from the Centre.
Rupala, the Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, held meetings with Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar and Haryana’s Animal Husbandry Minister J P Dalal here to review the situation in the two neighbouring states including availability of vaccine and arrangements being made by the state governments for prevention of the disease.
He later said he assured the two states of the Centre’s total help for the eradication of the disease and also encouraged them to carry out a larger number of vaccinations.
Punjab minister Bhullar raised the demand for arranging goat pox vaccine in adequate quantity for more than 25 lakh livestock. He said the Punjab government has administered 2.05 lakh doses of vaccine to cattle till Monday evening. The affected animals are being monitored and adequate medication and other precautions are being ensured as per the Government of India guidelines.
Bhullar said he had visited various districts of Punjab to get first-hand information about the problems of milk producers. Fazilka, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar and Amritsar are the most affected districts, he said.
The Punjab minister pointed out that there is a huge difference in prices of different vaccines. “Hence, the uniformity in the price and availability of doses in sufficient quantities should be ensured,” he said.
To this, Rupala assured that prices of vaccines will be rationalised and the supply in the required quantity to the state will be ensured, according to an official release of the Punjab government.
The Union minister said Haryana minister Dalal informed him that so far eight districts in the state are free from this disease as not even a single case has been reported there.
Rupala directed the states to follow the guidelines issued by the central government to deal with the disease through vaccination drive. He directed that vaccination should be done first in the districts where there are animals suffering from the disease so that its spread to other districts can be stopped.
He also directed the officials concerned from the two states to prepare isolation wards for affected animals to prevent the disease from spreading further.
Rupala later told reporters that both the state governments at their level are working at the ground level to check spread of the disease in animals. He said guidelines have been given how to bury animals after they die of the disease.
J P Dalal said so far 14 districts of Haryana are affected and 87 cows have died due to the disease so far, he said.
He said 3 lakh doses of goat pox vaccine had earlier been ordered by Haryana. “We will need 18-20 lakh more doses,” Dalal told reporters after the meeting.
Dalal said ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines (ICAR-NRCE), Hisar (Haryana), in collaboration with ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh, has developed a homologous live-attenuated LSD vaccine “Lumpi-ProVacInd”.
“We have urged the Centre that the approval for this vaccine should be fast-tracked and told them that this can be manufactured at ICAR-NRCE, Hisar. The Union minister said that the entire process and protocols that need to be followed may take 2-3 months,” said Dalal.
Vikas Pratap, Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Punjab, said as many as 74,325 animals have been suspected to be affected by this disease in the state. Of these, 39,248 are cured till date in the state, he said.
Punjab has so far received 3.16 lakh doses of vaccine, said the principal secretary.
Earlier in the day, former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the Punjab government should give the dairy farmers compensation of at least Rs 50,000 for each animal that died due to lumpy skin disease.
The SAD MP from Bathinda also urged Rupala to send central teams to Punjab for effective monitoring and vaccination of animals. She accused the AAP government in Punjab of not doing the needful as hundreds of animals have died while thousands of cattle have been affected by this disease.
“Lumpy skin disease is ravaging livestock in Punjab. Hundreds of bovines have died and thousands are severely infected by this contagious disease that is causing enormous economic loss to our farmers and dairy owners. Unfortunately, AAP-led Punjab govt has failed to do the needful,” she said in a tweet.