As many as 42 cows and buffaloes have died due to the onslaught of lumpy skin disease, according to the Maharashtra animal husbandry department.
After chairing a cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday directed the animal husbandry department to remain alert and take necessary steps to curb the spread of lumpy skin disease among cattle. He also announced Rs 1 crore for each district, through the District Planning Committee, to provide compensation to affected farmers.
The transportation of cattle to cities like Mumbai has been banned unless the cattle are certified to be fit. Due to this, buffalo’s meat supply has been restricted in the city since Monday.
“As lumpy skin disease is rapidly affecting livestock in the state, a cabinet meeting was held today to take measures to deal with it. At this time, it was decided to compensate the farmers or animal husbandry whose livestock died due to this disease from the funds of the state government as per the criteria in the National Disaster Prevention Policy. For the implementation of this decision, a committee will be formed under the chairmanship of the chief executive officer of the Zilla Parishad of the concerned district,” said a statement from the Chief Minister’s office.
The first case of disease was found in Jalgaon’s Chinawal village. As of now, the virus is only found in cows and buffaloes. There is no danger to humans while using the milk of animals that do not have symptoms of the disease.
Infected cattle have been notified in 280 villages in Maharashtra, including districts like Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Akola, Dhule, Pune, Latur, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Sangli, Yavatmal, Parbhani, Solapur, Washim, Nashik, and Jalna. The government said that although it is a rapidly spreading infectious disease, the mortality rate of livestock is low.
With the increase in cases, the government has decided to outsource 1159 vacant posts (286 at state level and 873 at Zilla Parishad level).
The government has also opened a toll-free number, 18002330418, for help with lumpy skin disease. A state level call centre for animal services is also active at toll free number 1962.
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