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Over the last three weeks, the number of cattle deaths has almost doubled due to lumpy skin disease

A health official vaccinates a cow against lumpy skin disease. (File image)

A total of 97,435 cattle deaths have resulted from lumpy skin disease in the last three weeks, according to official records – nearly double the 49,682 recorded three weeks ago.

Since September 23, over 20 lakh animals have been affected by the lumpy skin disease in 251 districts across 15 states.

Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy, had told The Indian Express that the disease has affected 11.2 lakh cattle in 165 districts across a dozen states and union territories.

A total of 43,759 “epicentres” have been found across 15 states and UTs – Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Bihar. In these states, 3.60 crore cattle are “susceptible” to the disease. Based on the data, the number of cattle “affected” by the disease stood at 20.56 lakh, while 12.70 lakh animals had recovered.

Among the 20.56 lakh affected animals, 13.99 lakh cattle were reported in Rajasthan, followed by 1.74 lakh in Punjab and 1.66 lakh in Gujarat.

A total of 64,311 animals have died as a result of lumpy skin disease in Rajasthan as of September 23. A total of 17,721 cattle have died due to this disease in Punjab. Vaccinations against the disease have been administered to 1.66 crore cattle as of September 23.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated earlier this month that the disease has caused livestock losses across several states, and that the Centre together with various state governments is striving to control it.

On September 12, the Prime Minister addressed the inaugural session of the IDF World Dairy Summit 2022 in Greater Noida. He stated that “Our scientists are working on developing an indigenous vaccine for lumpy skin disease,” and that efforts are also being made to control the disease by expediting testing and limiting animal movement.

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