The Jammu and Kashmir administration is set to activate its rapid response setup of the animal husbandry department to tackle ‘Lumpy Skin’ disease in animals after a few cases were detected in the Jammu region, officials said. The department has activated a helpline number, door-to-door campaign, issued advisories, set up rapid response teams, testing facilities and set up division-level monitoring and surveillance teams.
These directions were passed by Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Agriculture Production Department, during a meeting to review preparedness to combat the ingress of Lumpy Skin disease here. The ACS was given detailed information about the causes and symptoms of the disease, which usually affects cattle.
He was informed that several suspected cases have been identified by the animal husbandry department and very few cases have been confirmed, mostly from the Jammu division, officials said. In each district, the department is taking samples rigorously and sending them for lab tests regularly, they added. Upon review, the ACS said that the public must be assured that there is no need to panic and that the government is taking every step to mitigate the disease. He directed all Chief Animal Husbandry Officers, their subordinates and veterinary staff not to leave their respective stations without permission.
Regular advisory with well-defined ‘dos and don’ts’ should be published for public information. Rapid response teams, doctors and paramedics must stay in touch with the farmers around the clock, he directed the officials. The ACS called for setting up the Animal Husbandry helpline number 1962 and said that it must be advertised and be active throughout the day and night. “Door-to-door inspection and segregation of infected animals must be ensured by the veterinary officers. The department strategies ‘ring vaccination’ procedures for areas infested with the LSD,” he said.
Directors in the animal husbandry department in Kashmir and Jammu were directed to provide adequate logistics, necessary equipment for sample collection and testing facilities etc to Chief Animal Husbandry Officers. The directors were asked to activate RTPCR labs and deploy extra staff if necessary as per the guidelines of the central government.
The ACS also reviewed the availability of PPE kits, disinfectants, medicines and vaccines. Chief Animal Husbandry Officers were directed to submit a daily report containing information regarding the number of animals sampled, tested and LSD confirmed cases. The directors were instructed to set up Division Level Monitoring & Surveillance Teams at both the divisions and submit consolidated reports daily.