Rashmi Rekha Das

The spread of Lumpy skin disease among cattle has become a matter of grave concern among the cattle rearers in Odisha.  

According to reports, lumpy skin is a viral disease that affects cattle and is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever, nodules on the skin and can also lead to death, especially in animals that that have not previously been exposed to the virus.

Meanwhile, the outbreak of the disease has caused panic among cattle grazers of Mundamarai, Kusaraba, Bariguda, Talapatna, Haripur and Pratapur villages under Dharakote block in Ganjam district. 

What is more pathetic is that instead of treating the affected animals at veterinary hospitals, the affected cattle grazers have resorted to sorcery and other practices for curing the disease-stricken cattle and birds.

They were seen offering prayers at temples and seeking help from sorcery practitioners to save their domestic animals, especially cattle.  

Apart from Dharakote and Sanakhemundi blocks of Ganjam district, the disease has reared its ugly head at Basudevpur block of Bhadrak and Niali block of Cuttack district.

The state government has attributed the spread of the disease to cattle smuggling to neighbouring states.

Upon being contacted, Agriculture Minister Ranedra Pratap Swain said, “Due to cattle smuggling from neighbouring states to our state, lumpy skin disease is spreading in our state alarmingly. The state government is keeping a tab on it. The government has come up with control rooms in every district as part of its measures to contain the disease. The departmental officers have been instructed to follow measures to prevent the disease from spreading. The government has decided to vaccinate 15 lakh cattle of which 5 lakh cattle have already been vaccinated.”

Going by NDTV report, the disease has caused close to 57,000 cattle fatalities nationwide. Over 15.21 lakh cattle have been affected by the outbreak so far. At least seven states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi, apart from Odisha, have reported cases.