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LAHORE: Expressing concern over rising incident of lumpy skin disease (LSD) in the animals, the Agriculture Republic has suggested the federal government to go for ‘carpet vaccination’ of animals across Pakistan to not only save the farmers from heavy future loss but also the national economy.

“The National Ministry of Food Security & Research (NFS&R) in collaboration with the livestock departments of all the provinces should vaccinate every animal in the length and breadth of the country to save the sector which is approximately contributing 61.9 percent of agriculture value added and 14 percent to the national GDP during the year 2021-22”, said Agriculture Republic Co-Founder Aamer Hayat Bhandara while talking to Business Recorder on Saturday.

Bhandara said animal husbandry is the most significant economic activity of the dwellers of rural areas of Pakistan. More than 8 million rural families are engaged in livestock production and are deriving around 35-40 percent of their income from this sector. However, spread of LSD has posed a very serious threat to their livelihood as in 2018, the FAO estimated only due to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) there was a USD 692 million of loss in terms of milk production, treatment cost, body weight loss and mortality in buffalo and cattle calves in Pakistan.

“I am afraid the Lumpy Skin Disease’s losses would be much more than FMD as this is 2022 and LSC ratio is much higher than the FMD,” Aamer expressed his fear. He said the Lumpy Skin Disease infected the milk and meat too and were declared unhealthy for human consumption which caused severe social and financial problems for the common population and poor farmers rearing the animals in the rural parts of the country just for Eid-ul-Adha.

Now if we just discuss the infected animals, although they would recover in a very short span of time, in the longer run the female animals would face reproductive issues and male would also face issues in fertility causing loss in animal numbers and in the end future national meat and milk production, he added.

Meanwhile, the Punjab livestock department had claimed on Friday that 10,982 animals had so far been reported as suffering from LSD in the province while out of these 9362 has already recovered. The department on Saturday barred 45 more animals from entering Lahore due to suspicion of LSD. Regarding vaccination, the department claims it has so for administered 1.662 million animals against this disease in Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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