Centre heightens bids to check lumpy virus outbreak in WB districts

Around 400 unvaccinated cattle in Darjeeling and 2000 in Kalimpong were infected, out of which 200 and 1200 respectively have already recovered

Lumpy virus

New Delhi: The department of animal husbandry and dairying (DAHD) under the Union ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, on Sunday swung in to action to address concerns of livestock farmers of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal after the suspected outbreak of lumpy virus or lumpy skin disease (LSD) and its devastating impact on cattle and buffaloes came to the light.

Officials and experts of the DAHD are reported to have rushed technical and financial support to the concerned districts in close co-ordination with state government to tackle the LSD. The lumpy skin disease had led to death of any cattle in different parts of the country in the past and impacted milk production by the animals infected by it.

As per the verifications from the field, there are no deaths of cattle due to LSD in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Around 400 unvaccinated cattle in Darjeeling and 2000 in Kalimpong were infected, out of which 200 and 1200 respectively have already recovered. Treatment of other infected cattle is underway including ring vaccination of cattle in affected areas to check the spread of the disease. There are no reports of LSD in sheep/goats In both the districts and the infection is reported mainly in unvaccinated cattle. However, the situation is under control./

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Officials said that the experts from the Centre have been tasked to implement various measures for control of the disease, which included deeper surveillance, intense vaccination and regular visit of the veterinary doctors in areas of impact.

The department has already formulated the surveillance strategy through exit plan and circulated to all the states. Diagnostic facilities are readily available in the region and Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL), Kolkata, has been authorized and financially supported for surveillance of cattle through PCR testing of LSD and the same was communicated to the state.

The state government has been advised regularly to undertake vaccination as per the controlled and preventive strategy. Uniform rates for purchase of the vaccines have been communicated to the state. Financial assistance under ASCAD with 60:40 share is provided to the states including West Bengal.

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The central team consisting of one officer each from North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NERDDL), Guwahati and Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ERDDL), Kolkata, has been constituted to visit the affected area to assess the ground situation and to support the state AHD for control and containment of LSD in definite time line.

The DAHD is taking all necessary steps including funding and technical support for timely control and prevention of LSD in the country. However, the field implementation lies with the state government as animal husbandry is the state subject, said a senior officer.

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