Ahmedabad: Gujarat has reported a drop in milk production by around 50,000 litres a day with the deadly lumpy skin disease (LSD) having taken a toll of over 1,800 heads of cattle in four months and affecting nearly 70,000 cows in 22 out of 33 districts, even as in a late response the State Government has launched a frantic vaccination drive.
According to the latest numbers as on Thursday, the government had vaccinated over 15 lakh heads of cattle. Official sources in the State Animal Husbandry Department indicated that the State Government had recently inked a tie-up with Ahmedabad-based animal vaccine major Hester Biosciences, which has already supplied 40,000 vials.
Every vial, priced at Rs 600, could inoculate 33 heads of cattle, with each animal needing a 3 ml dose. The sources said the company was likely to step up the supply to 1.5 lakh vials from this month, and a major chunk of this would be given out to Gujarat.
Going by the official data, Kutch is the worst-affected district with more than 40,000 cases out of the nearly 70,000 in 22 districts in the State. Saurashtra and North Gujarat are the other affected regions.
According to an official statement following a visit of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel to Kutch on Tuesday, the government has deployed 192 veterinary officials, 568 cattle observers and 298 other veterinary officials travelling in mobile cattle hospitals across villages for treatment and vaccination.
Sources in the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which is the marketing body of milk cooperatives in the State including Amul products, said a loss of 50,000 litres a day was minuscule given that the daily milk procurement of GCMMF stood at over 2 crore litres a day. Officials allayed fears that the milk production could fall drastically if the situation continued to worsen, stating that the State Government has now launched a major vaccination drive across all the affected districts and monitoring the districts insulated from the disease so far.