Responding promptly to the worries of livestock farmers in the districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong in West Bengal, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, operating under the Ministry of Fisheries, AH, and Dairying, has taken immediate action. Prompted by rising cases of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) among cattle and buffaloes, the Union Cabinet Minister for the FAHD, Shri Parshottam Rupala, directed the department to provide immediate support. In collaboration with state and district officials, the department has implemented various measures to control the disease and ensure the well-being of the affected livestock.
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, under the Government of India, has acted promptly in addressing the recently reported instances of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in the districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, located in West Bengal.Through coordinated efforts with state and district officials, the department has confirmed that no cattle deaths have occurred due to LSD in the affected areas. However, a considerable number of unvaccinated cattle, approximately 400 in Darjeeling and 2000 in Kalimpong, have unfortunately contracted the disease. Nonetheless, a significant proportion of these animals have already shown signs of recovery.The department is actively engaged in treating the remaining infected cattle and implementing ring vaccination to prevent further spread. Measures such as surveillance, a vaccination program, and the visit of officers from regional disease diagnostic laboratories are being employed to control and contain the disease outbreak.
To combat the outbreak effectively, the AHD has implemented a range of measures, including:
- Surveillance: Implementing a comprehensive surveillance strategy known as the Exit Plan, the department has successfully shared this framework with all states. Moreover, the region benefits from easily accessible diagnostic facilities, including the authorized and financially supported Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL) in Kolkata, equipped to conduct precise PCR testing for LSD in cattle. Prompt communication of this vital information to the respective state officials has been ensured.
- Vaccination program: Regular advisories have been issued to the states, emphasizing the importance of vaccination as a controlled and preventive strategy. The AHD has communicated uniform rates for the purchase of vaccines to the states, and financial assistance under the ASCAD program, with a 60:40 cost-sharing ratio, is being provided to states, including West Bengal.
- Field visits by RDDL officers: In order to achieve effective control and containment of LSD within a specific timeframe, a specialized central team has been assembled, comprising officers from the Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ERDDL) in Kolkata and the North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (NERDDL) in Guwahati . This dedicated team will carry out on-site visits to the affected areas in Kalimpong and Darjeeling, conducting thorough assessments of the ground situation. Their primary objective is to provide essential support to the state AHD, ensuring efficient disease management measures are implemented.
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, in coordination with state and district officials, is actively addressing the concerns of livestock farmers in Darjeeling and Kalimpong regarding the outbreak of LSD. Through surveillance, vaccination programs, and field visits, the department is working diligently to control and contain the disease. It is crucial for farmers to collaborate with local authorities and follow recommended guidelines to protect their livestock from LSD.