Cows and buffaloes roaming the streets and eating from garbage bins are a common sight in almost every part of India. Even though there have been multiple government interventions, the problem persists.
Most recently, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation, one of the four municipal bodies in the national capital, announced an ambitious plan to implant chips in cattle with the owners’ information. Using the chip, authorities plan to track down erring cattle owners and fine them Rs 25,000 every time their cattle is found abandoned.
The abandonment of cattle is unfortunate as they are quite an important resource, contributing to nutritional security and strengthening local livelihood. India has over five million stray cattle, as the 20th Livestock Census released by the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in January 2020.
Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is caused by infection of cattle or water buffalo with the poxvirus Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV). The virus is one of three closely related species within the genus capripoxvirus, the other two species being Sheeppox virus and Goatpox virus.
How Can We Protect Cows From The Lumpy Virus
Control and prevention of lumpy skin disease rely on four tactics – movement control (quarantine), vaccination, slaughter campaigns, and management strategies. Specific national control plans vary between countries and so advice should be sought from the relevant authorities and veterinarians.
Vaccination is the most effective means of control, and live homologous vaccines containing a Neethling-like strain of LSDV are recommended.
There is no treatment for the virus, so prevention by vaccination is the most effective means of control.
Secondary infections in the skin may be treated with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs) and also antibiotics (topical +/- injectable) when appropriate.