As Delhi HC calls lumpy skin disease ‘worrying’, insight into how states are fighting virus

The Delhi High Court on Friday said the lumpy skin disease situation was worrying and the case should be heard quickly. Noting that a large number of cattle have succumbed to the disease in the state, the court issued a notice to the Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation in this regard.

“While a large number of cows are dying, the case deserves to be heard at the earliest,” the court said, adding that the case will be heard on October 14.

The PIL filed by social activist Ajay Gautam moved to the Delhi High Court on September 29 and called on the city government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to take immediate corrective action to address to disease.

He had argued that around 70,000 head of cattle have died so far from the disease, which has spread to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. “This disease has also knocked on the doors of Delhi and has started to affect cows in the national capital. Infected cows need medical treatment at the earliest. This disease can turn into an epidemic. Therefore, immediate action is needed to stop the spread of this disease among cows,” the plea reads.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said last month that the Center and the states were working to control lumpy skin disease in cattle.

What is lumpy skin disease?

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle transmitted by blood-sucking insects such as certain species of flies, mosquitoes and ticks. It causes fever, nodules on the skin and can lead to death, especially if the cattle have not been previously exposed to the virus.

According to the Center, the disease is characterized by a mild fever for 2 to 3 days followed by the development of stiff, round skin nodules on the skin of the whole body. Symptoms may include damage to the mouth, pharynx, and airways, emaciation, enlarged lymph nodes, limb edema, reduced milk production, abortion, infertility, and sometimes death.

Prevention and control

Two institutes of the agricultural research organization ICAR have developed an indigenous vaccine “Lumpi-ProVacInd” for lumpy skin disease in cattle. Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairy Secretary Jatindra Nath Swain said last month that states are currently using the “goat pox” vaccine to control lumpy skin disease and that the commercial launch of a new vaccine “Lumpi-ProVacInd” will take the “next three years”. -four months.”

The Center has issued an advisory to states on various preventative measures as well as isolating the affected animal to prevent future incidents of LSD. These are:

Control of animal movements – In order to minimize the economic impact of the outbreaks and to control LSD, the movement of animals to and from the infected zone and the affected states must be completely prohibited. This will verify the transmission/spread of LSD.

Restriction with affected animals and people caring for these animals – The movement of people to and from the affected area should be restricted. Animal handlers and those caring for affected animals should be instructed to stay away from healthy animals.

Vaccination – Infected villages are identified so that precautionary plans are implemented in a specific area and ring vaccination carried out in villages up to 5 km around the affected village. Cattle and buffaloes should be vaccinated with available goat pox vaccine (cattle and buffaloes 4 months and older by S/C route) with 10 3.5 TCID50 of GTPV vaccine (Uttarkashi strain). However, affected animals should not be vaccinated.

Biosecurity measures:

  • Immediate isolation of sick animals from healthy animals. Symptomatic treatment of affected animals can be carried out with all precautions and biosecurity measures. Feeding liquid foods, soft foods and roughage is recommended.
  • Clinical surveillance against LSD in the affected districts and around surrounding villages needs to be intensified.
  • Buffaloes should be kept separately until full recovery of affected animals if kept together.
  • Disinfection of premises at regular intervals.
  • The ecto-parasiticide must also be applied to healthy animals from infected farms and surrounding farms.
  • People caring for the infected animal should wear gloves and face masks and apply hygiene and disinfection measures at all times.
  • Care should be taken to report any unusual illness of other animals to the nearest veterinary hospital/clinic.
  • Hygiene practices should be followed on the farm and by people in areas where animals are infected.
  • Farms with affected animals should be visited regularly by field veterinarians until all cases are cured. Veterinary staff should take all precautionary hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the disease to other farms/households.
  • In the event of mortality, the carcass must be disposed of by deep burial, respecting all hygiene measures.
  • Livestock markets within 10 km of the epicenter of infection should be closed.
  • Trade in live cattle, participation in fairs, shows should be prohibited as soon as the disease is confirmed in the affected areas.
  • Semen from animals with LSD must not be collected and processed for production and distribution.

Vector control: Control of the population of vectors (ticks, flies, mosquitoes, fleas, midges) in the premises and the body of the animal should be carried out using insecticides, repellents and other chemical agents.

Disinfection and cleaning measures: Affected premises, vehicles circulating on affected animal farms should be transported with appropriate chemicals / disinfectants [Ether (20%), chloroform, formalin (1%), phenol (2% /15 minutes), sodium hypochlorite (2-3%), iodine compounds (1:33 dilution) and quaternary ammonium compounds (0.5%)].

Awareness program: Mass awareness campaign to be undertaken to raise public awareness of the disease and report suspected cases detected immediately to the veterinary authority.

Here’s how states are fighting the surge in lumpy skin disease cases:


The Delhi government began vaccinating livestock in late September to prevent the spread of lumpy skin disease. The government has adopted a ring vaccination strategy in which healthy livestock within 5 km of affected areas will receive a goat pox vaccine with the Uttarkashi strain of the virus.


The Maharashtra government had in early September declared the entire state a “controlled area” restricting livestock movements and banning animal fairs etc. died of lumpy skin disease in Maharashtra.

“Jalgaon saw 421 deaths, followed by 393 in Akola and 252 in Ahmednagar. The remaining deaths are from 27 districts excluding urban and suburban districts of Mumbai and some others,” he said.

Madhya Pradesh

A total of 17,553 cattle were affected by the lumpy skin virus and among them, 15,073 or 86 percent recovered from the disease, said RK Mehiya, director of veterinary and dairy department. At least 291 cattle have succumbed to the disease in the state since August. Since the viral outbreak in July, labs had confirmed the presence of the lumpy virus in 14 of the state’s 52 districts.


Union Livestock Minister Sanjeev Balyan said the lumpy virus problem is more serious in Rajasthan. The state government has sanctioned Rs 30 crore for the purchase of vaccines and drugs to prevent the spread of lumpy skin disease in livestock.


To control the spread of the disease, the state animal husbandry department issued a notice to the 24 districts and asked them to send samples, if such a case of lumpy skin disease is reported in their respective areas.

Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh government recently banned livestock trade with four neighboring states and imposed a ‘lockdown’ on the intra-state movement of animals from 28 districts to prevent the spread of the disease.


The state’s livestock department said the spread of the virus had slowed in the past two weeks following several measures, including a large-scale vaccination campaign. According to reports, nearly 200 veterinarians and 550 livestock inspectors were involved in treatment and vaccination efforts.

(with agency contributions)

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Carol N. Valencia