Lumpy skin disease hits livestock


Livestock Research Laboratory, Biratnagar, has confirmed that a new disease seen among cattle in Morang district for the past two months is lumpy skin.

Chief at the laboratory Dr Sanjay Kumar Yadav said Central Livestock Research Laboratory had detected the disease. “After samples of the cattle were sent to the central laboratory for PCR test, the report came out and the disease was detected as lumpy skin,” said Dr Yadav.

The disease is spreading rapidly among cattle in the district. Since the disease is caused by an infectious virus, it does not have treatment available. “We have formulated guidelines and asked the livestock technicians to treat the sick cattle,” added Dr Yadav.

Cows and oxen have developed various lumps on their skin and they turn into wounds. When the wound gets worse, it causes bleeding. The virus attacks the skin of cows and other animals and turns their skin ugly.

However, the death rate from the disease is very low, said Dr Yadav. Farmers don’t have to lose their cattle. The disease is affecting imported and hybrid types of cattle the most. According to Dr Yadav, they don’t have data on the exact number of cattle affected by the disease as local levels have not provided them the detail on the number of infected cattle.

“Despite our repeated requests to send the information, local levels have not been heeding our request,” said Dr Yadav.

He estimated that more than 3,000 cows might have contracted the disease in Morang alone.

“Forty cows might have died from the infection,” added Dr Yadav.

Morang has 408,000 cows and oxen and 100,000 buffaloes and he-buffaloes.

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A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 2, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.