The epidemic has resulted in devastating income losses for ranchers, as the disease can cause not only death but reduced milk production, weakened animals and fertility problems.

Known as lumpy skin disease, the disease is transmitted by blood-sucking insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. Infected cows and buffaloes have fevers and skin lumps.

Farmers have suffered severe losses due to extreme weather over the past year. In India, record-breaking heat slashed wheat yields in April, while inadequate rainfall in eastern states such as Jharkhand shrank dry winter crops such as legumes, while unusually heavy rains have damaged rice in the north.

And now the virus has spread to at least 15 states, with cattle and buffalo deaths nearly doubling in three weeks, reports the Press Trust of India.

The epidemic spreading among cattle is disproportionately affecting smallholder farmers, many of whom are shielding themselves from climate change shocks through dairy farming, said an agricultural policy expert in northern Chandigarh.

“This is a very serious problem and this [disease] has been on the rise for the last few years,” he said, adding that government figures may have underestimated the true number of deaths from the disease. added that it was high.

The first case in South Asia it was detected in 2019, has since spread to India, China and Nepal. First recorded in Zambia in 1929, it has spread to Africa and more recently parts of Europe.

According to federal data, dairy is one of India’s largest agricultural products, employing 80 million people and contributing 5% of the economy. It is the world’s largest milk producer, accounting for more than one-fifth of the world’s production, but exports only a fraction of it.

To protect the industry, authorities vaccinated healthy cattle with vaccines designed for similar diseases and are working to develop more effective vaccines.

India’s vast hinterland is now filled with cattle mass graves. In some places, carcasses rot in the open, and sick animals’ cries of pain echo through villages. The western state of Rajasthan is the worst affected.

“The disease is very contagious.

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Source: News10

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