The Punjab government has procured over 66,000 doses of goat pox vaccine from Hyderabad to check the spread of lumpy skin disease among cattle in the state.
These vaccine doses will be administered free of cost to the healthy livestock, said Punjab Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar on Sunday.
Lumpy skin disease infects cows and buffaloes mainly through vectors like blood-feeding insects. It leads to the formation of nodes on the animal's skin or hide that look like lumps, fever, runny nose, reduced milk yield and difficulty in eating.
Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been hit by the outbreak of the disease.
Till Saturday, over 400 cattle have died due to lumpy skin disease in a month and around 20,000, mostly cows, have been infected in Punjab.
Barnala, Bathinda Faridkot, Jalandhar, Moga and Muktsar were among the worst-affected districts of the state.
Mr. Bhullar, who visited some dairy farms in the Khemkaran constituency on Sunday, said the goat pox vaccine, which was specially ordered from Hyderabad, has been sent to all the districts of the state and the doctors have started administering the doses.
He said the Bhagwant Singh Mann-led government in Punjab was taking all necessary steps to prevent the spread of the disease.
The animal husbandry minister said officials of his department are constantly in touch with the authorities to ensure there is no shortage of vaccine doses.
₹76 lakh has been disbursed to all districts and veterinary officers have also been deputed to help the field staff, Mr. Bhullar said.
He urged farmers to bury the carcass and not throw it in the open. The minister also asked them not to buy cattle from other states for the time being to prevent the spread of the disease.