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Animal husbandry dept steps up vax drive against lumpen skin disease | Coimbatore News

COIMBATORE: The district animal husbandry department has intensified the drive to vaccinate cattle against the lumpy skin disease following the death of a four-month-old calf at Devambadi village near Pollachi on Monday.
Samples from the carcass of the calf were collected and sent to the Central University, Chennai, to ascertain the cause of the death, said R Perumalsamy, regional joint director of the animal husbandry department. “We have also formed six special teams to screen cattle in and around Pollachi,” he added.
With many cattle getting infected with the lumpy skin disease in a few states, including Kerala and Maharashtra, the state government in mid-December directed the animal husbandry department to vaccinate cattle in all the districts.
Perumalsamy said, “It is the first time that the cattle are vaccinated against the disease in Tamil Nadu.”
“The severity of the disease is mild in the district. We have so far identified as many as 42 cattle across the district exhibiting symptoms of the disease. Houseflies, mosquitoes and external parasites are common vectors. A key reason for cattle contracting this disease is poorly maintained yards.,” he added.
Another official from the department said the district has a total of 2.63 lakh cattle, and at least 90% of them must be vaccinated to acquire herd immunity. As of Tuesday, the district animal husbandry department has vaccinated 1.01 lakh cattle.
A vaccine vial contains 100 doses that should be administered to the cattle within a stipulated time. Else, it will go to waste. “We have been sensitising the cattle farmers to come forward to get their animals vaccinated. There is poor awareness among farmers about the infection. When we offer to vaccinate the animals even at their places, they are reluctant to let us proceed.”
Meanwhile, Pollachi MLA V Jayaraman has written to animal husbandry minister Anitha R Radhakrishnan urging the government to conduct a survey in the district to know the extent of the spread of the infection. He claimed that at least 15 cattle had died, and another 300 were infected with the disease in the Pollachi region.

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