Lumpy skin disease in cattle troubling farmers
Karivellur: Lumpy skin disease is spreading among cattle in several panchayats here in Kannur district.
The virus disease has spread to hundreds of cattle in every district. As flies and mosquitoes act as virus carriers, Lumpy skin disease quickly spreads from one cattle to others in the herd. The major symptoms of Lumpy skin disease is small lumps forming on the cattle’s skin which would turn into wounds. The cattle will also develop fever.
During advanced stages of the disease, the cattle will suffer from swelling. Although Lumpy skin disease is not fatal, the cattle are fatigued and produce less milk. It adversely affects the growth of young cattle and causes abortions in females.
The Lumpy skin disease, which originated in Zambia in Africa, was detected in cattle in southern Kerala last year. The disease is caused by a virus called Capripoxvirus and it takes 3-4 months of treatment to cure.
Although a vaccine said to prevent the virus exists, the farmers are yet to receive any such vaccines. Hence, they are resorting to local medicines to treat the virus.
Dairy farmers are already facing a crisis due to the hike in price of cattle feed and lack of fair price for milk. The skin disease is adding insult to injury.