After African swine fever which killed over 1,000 pigs in Jharkhand, rising cases of lumpy skin disease have been infecting cattle in the eastern State, raising concern of the Animal Husbandry Department.
However, no death of bovine animals due to the viral infection has been reported from the districts so far, an official said on Sunday.
Lumpy skin disease is a contagious viral disease that spreads among cattle through mosquitoes, flies, lice, and wasps by direct contact, and also through contaminated food and water. The disease causes fever and nodules on the skin, and it can be fatal.
Director of Institute of Animal Health and Production, Vipin Bihari Mahta, told PTI, “We have received some cases of lumpy skin disease from Ranchi and Deoghar districts.” To check the spread of the disease, the animal husbandry department has issued an advisory to all 24 districts and asked them to send samples, if any such case of lumpy skin disease is reported in their respective areas, the official said.
“The disease had been reported in the state last year too. But, there were very few cases. This year, the cases are rising. We have asked the dairy farmers to keep the cattle, showing symptoms of the disease, in isolation.
“The symptoms include skin nodules of about two to five cm, high fever, reduced milk production, loss of appetite, and watery eyes,” Mr. Mahta said.
The Centre recently said about 57,000 cattle have died so far due to the disease which has spread to Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Mahta said, “The best part is we now have a vaccine to control the disease,” he said.
Speaking on the African swine fever (ASF), he said the situation is under control and the death rate has also reduced in the State.
At the Kanke-based government pig breeding farm in Ranchi, there were around 1,100 pigs before the outbreak of ASF.
“There are only 300 pigs at the farm now,” an official said.