As per the latest official data, the total number of dead cattle in the state rose to 16,387 on Saturday. While the number of infected animals was 3,38,333 till Friday, it rose to 3,67,178 on Saturday. The disease has now spread to 24 out of the state’s 33 districts.
Ganganagar district tops in cattle casualty with 3,153 deaths and 55,389 viral infections, followed by Jodhpur district with 1,925 deaths and 40,800 cases so far.
The Centre launched the indigenous vaccine Lumpi-ProVacInd last Wednesday to protect livestock from the disease. The vaccine has been developed by the National Equine Research Centre (NERC) in Haryana’s Hisar in collaboration with Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) at Izzatnagar in UP’s Bareilly. But officials in Rajasthan have no immediate information on when the vaccine will reach villages in the state.
Animal husbandry is a major economic activity of the rural people of Rajasthan. About 10 per cent of the state’s gross domestic product is contributed by the livestock sector alone. About 35 per cent of the income of small and marginal farmers comes from dairy and animal husbandry.
According to the livestock census of 2012, Rajasthan has about 7% of the country’s cattle population and contributes over 12.72 per cent of the total milk production.