12 million heads of cattle in Punjab wait for vaccination against Lumpy virus
By Muhammad Sudhir Chaudhry
LAHORE: As many as 12.3 million heads of cattle in Punjab still cannot be vaccinated to protect them from Lumpy virus thus 84 percent of animals are waiting for their lives to be saved, National Food security and research Livestock asked for help from the FAO, United Nations.
According to the letter to the United Nations, Pakistan used the pox vaccine administered to goats for the Lumpy virus, which proved to be quite effective, but the livestock does not have the vaccine in the required quantity. Only 16 percent heads of cattle have been vaccinated and rest at least 84 percent waiting for the vaccination. Only 2.4 million heads of cattle have been vaccinated out of around 14.6 million cattle across Punjab. Due to lack of vaccine and treatment of the disease, 1287 cattle have died due to Lumpy virus while 36 thousand 372 cases of Lumpy virus have been reported so far.
According to the report, in North and Central Punjab, 6.2 million animals have not been vaccinated against Lumpy Virus while 22972 cases of Lumpy Virus have been reported. In South Punjab, out of 7.2 million only 1.1 million were vaccinated.
Lumpy virus may strike again and the number of cases may increase, spokesman of Livestock department said, adding that the pox vaccine administered to goats has worked but in low doses. There is a similarity between the disease of goats and animals infected with lumpy virus. The number of unreported cases in livestock may be much higher than the reported number. The spokesperson said that the number of cases of Lumpy Virus has decreased in these days. On the other hand, farmer leader Farooq Akhtar Mayo said that the reason for not taking timely action was the spread of Lumpy virus in Punjab.
He said that due to the flood, about seven and a half lakh cattle were died across the country, while hundreds thousands of cattle have been affected by the Lumpy virus.
If the government does not take timely measures, the price of beef may reach 2000 rupees and the number of cattle may decrease drastically, he added.