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Telangana reports ‘mild’ infection of LSD

The Telangana Government has sealed the borders for cattle movement as it reported the first incidence of lumpy skin disease (LSD) among ‘white and black’ animals in 12 districts this week.

Following the Union Government advisory, the Animal Husbandry Department sent about 130 samples to the Southern Region Disease Diagnostics Laboratory in Bengaluru.

“We are taking all measures to contain the infection and started vaccinating the animals in hotspot areas,” Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Telangana Animal Husbandry Minister, told BusinessLine.

The LSD has impacted lakhs of cows and buffaloes in several parts of the country. A contagious disease, LSD causes fever and lumps on the skin leading to the death of animals.

Mild infection

“We have been informed about the incidence in 12 districts. It is only a mild infection. We have taken samples and tested them (Elisa) here. Four out of 45 samples tested positive for lumpy skin disease. Since the Bengaluru diagnostic laboratory is a designated centre to certify the samples, we have sent the samples there,” S Ramchander, Director of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department of Telangana, said.

The Department is expecting results from the Bengaluru laboratory in a week.

Meanwhile, the Department has begun vaccinating the animals in areas around where the infection is reported. Since there is no vaccine meant for the disease available, the Department is repurposing a vaccine targeted at goat pox to treat the lumpy skin disease.

Goat pox vaccine

Telangana is the only State where a government agency produces the goat pox vaccine.

“Since it is recommended for the lumpy skin disease, we are going to use it for the vulnerable cattle,” Ramchander said.

It, however, is not going to be a blanket vaccination programme covering all of the 84 lakh cattle in the State.

“We are going to map the area around an incidence and vaccinate the cattle in a radius of five kilometres around it,” he said.

The State Government is gearing up to supply the vaccine to other States that report a high incidence of the disease.

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