State writes to Centre to declare LSD as epidemic

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 8

The state government today urged the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to declare the lumpy skin disease (LSD) as an epidemic. There has been a sudden spurt in cases of the disease among cattle in nine districts of the state.

Deaths due to LSD

As many as 2,309 head of cattle have died and 55,926 have been infected with the disease in the state till now — Sudesh Mokta, Director-cum-special secretary, Revenue

On August 10, the State Animal Husbandry Department had declared the LSD as a scheduled disease under Chapter II, Section 6 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animal Act 2009. However, seeing the recent surge in cases, Sudesh Mokta, Director-cum-Special Secretary, Revenue, wrote to the Central government, requesting it to declare the disease as an epidemic.

"The disease has witnessed a spurt in the past few days. As many as 2,309 head of cattle have died and 55,926 have been infected with the disease in the state till now," he wrote in the letter to the Joint Secretary, Disaster Management Division, Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

He added that the disease had cast a shadow on the livestock in the state and so needs to be declared as an epidemic.

Mokta said, "It is only after the disease is declared as an epidemic that the disaster, relief and rehabilitation component of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) can be provided to aggrieved farmers. You are therefore requested that the matter for declaring the LSD as an epidemic may be considered for calamity purpose."

Nine districts have been affected by the disease but Sirmaur, Shimla and Solan are the worst-hit districts. Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti and Kullu have so far not reported any LSD case.

Kangra has also been affected badly. It has witnessed the death of 566 head of cattle while 18,625 head of cattle have been infected. Una district has reported the death of 556 head of cattle while 8,585 head of cattle have been infected. Solan district has witnessed 336 deaths while 7,491 head of cattle have been infected with the disease.

The Animal Husbandry Department claimed that over 1.40 lakh vaccines had been provided to curb the spread of the disease. The Himachal Kisan Sabha has demanded that the LSD be declared as an epidemic, as a large number of farmers in the state are dependent on dairy farming.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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