PESHAWAR: Lumpy skin disease seems to be overshadowing Eid ul Azha in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as it has killed at least 95 cattle and infected 5,147 since April.
The Livestock and Dairy Department provided more than 0.2 million vaccination doses for at least nine million cows and bulls, while fumigation drives were also conducted to prevent the spread of the virus, said director-general Dr Alamzaib. “We have requested the government to provide more vaccines for the animals.”
The vaccine costs Rs365 per dose, he said, urging affluent people to buy it so that free doses could be reserved for poor cattle owners.
The government had set up check posts at the entry and exit points of the province to monitor animals that were being brought to the livestock market.
At least nine trucks carrying sacrificial animals were turned away from Karachi’s cattle market in June after at least one animal in each vehicle was found to have the lumpy skin disease.
So far 225 animals have died in Sindh because of the virus.
Lumpy skin disease is carried by a vector, such as a mosquito or other parasites. Animals can also pass the infection on to each other in rare cases and contaminated surfaces can also sometimes spread the disease but it does not spread to other species of animals. The virus affects the nodes of animals and can eventually lead to large-sized lesions forming on the body.
The disease is known to have low morbidity but a strong impact on productivity. So far, there has been no known cure with culling cited as the only solution to stop the spread of the disease. Vaccination of cattle is the most effective method for controlling its spread, according to the European Food Safety Authority.
The World Organisation for Animal Health has said that the meat of the cattle infected with lumpy skin disease can be consumed by removing the affected areas.