Tanveer Ahmed
Cattle Health
Cattle, Lumpy Skin Disease, Cattle Insurance
According to the Pakistan Economic Survey, livestock contributed almost 60% in the agriculture industry in the financial year 2020-2021. About eight million families are directly dependent upon livestock as their primary or secondary source of income. Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) is a highly contagious disease in cattle and could cause major economic losses. It is estimated that around five million dairy farmers may suffer from lumpy skin disease. The viral skin disease is characterized by raised nodules in the skin. Hence the name, lumpy skin disease or LSD. Initial clinical signs of LSD may include fever (40-41.5 oC), runny nose, depression, anorexia, reluctance to move, reduction in milk production, weight loss and difficulty in eating. Cattle may develop large and firm nodules (2 to 5 cm in diameter) in the skin. These can be found over the entire body of an animal, but are found particularly on the its head, neck and udder. The nodules may become necrotic and ulcerate, leading towards high risk of secondary bacterial infections and flystrike. In severe cases, the nodules can fall out leaving full-skin thickness holes in the animals hide. The disease can also be spread by insects like flies, mosquitoes and ticks to other animals but it does not pose any risk to human health. There is no reportable risk to humans even by consuming infected animals beef or dairy products. As per media reports, the LSD first emerged in Sindh province, where more than 570 cows have reportedly died by June 2022, and has later spread across the country. Small farmers who have up to 30 cattle are more worried as they will be impacted the most. A number of cases in buffalo are also reported from Karachi. Its vaccination is now available in the market, vaccination takes about 28 days to overcome symptoms, during which the cattle’s health remains uncertain. Preventive measures: • Buffaloes and cows should be vaccinated with goat pox vaccine to prevent the LSD disease. • Sick animals should be separated from healthy animals. • Do not let other animals come into contact with the infected animals. • Avoid taking animals to fairs, markets etc and do not buy animals showing any signs of the disease. • Animal breeders or workers should work only one dairy farm and should not go to different farms and pay special attention to their body hygiene. In the second quarter of 2022, B2B Agro Livestock has observed that 4% of inspected & tagged animals have affected by LSD. B2B Agro Livestock has properly documented infected animals and advised the farmers to must quarantine the sick animals. In our opinion, this disease may affect livestock financing and insurance on a large scale because of improper disposal of dead cattle. Animals died from lumpy skin disease has been thrown at open places which is a significant risk for other healthy cattle. Farmers must properly disposed-off the dead animals for the protection of other animals.