The lumpy skin disease is back in the state, and the animal husbandry department is gearing up to fight it after a few cases were reported from various districts.
It broke out in July last year and relented by September.
This viral disease, according to figures from non-government organisations, killed more than 76,000 bovines.
Department Secretary Krishna Kunal has directed starting the vaccination of cattle in the affected districts and coordinating with other departments. He said there would be awareness campaigns for farmers and cattle rearers.
Cattle rearers are coming in large numbers to inflation relief camps to take advantage of various public welfare schemes of the government. The secretary has asked officers to tap them there to make them aware of the preventive measures.
Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation Managing Director Sushma Arora has given similar orders. Cattle rearers should be told to maintain cleanliness. She said this disease did not spread to people from cattle but to other animals.
A control room has been set up in Jaipur and in all the districts.
In inflation-relief camps, or “Mehangai Rahat” camps, a scheme of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, launched on April 24 and slated to continue till June 30, those in cattle rearing are being provided insurance cover of Rs 40,000 each for two milch cows under the Mukhyamantri Kamdhenu Pashu Bima Yojana.
The state government started this scheme after many cows and bulls died last year.
A sum of Rs 750 crore will be spent annually, and more than two million cattle rearers will benefit.
The scheme is free for rearers with an annual income up to Rs 8 lakh a year, while those earning more have to pay Rs 200 per animal per annum.
Last year due to this disease, milk production dipped by 15-20 per cent in the state.
Animal husbandry is a significant economic activity of the rural people, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan. About 10 per cent of the state’s gross domestic product is contributed by the livestock sector alone.
According to the livestock census of 2012, the livestock population was 57.73 million, which include cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs, camels, horses, and donkeys.
Rajasthan has about 7 per cent of the country’s cattle population and contributes over 12.72 per cent of milk production.
Business Standard May 15th 2023