Vaccine to be imported to treat LSD
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
Arrangements were being made to import vaccine vials to treat the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) which had affected cattle in various parts of the country, State Minister for Livestock, Farm Promotion and Dairy and Egg Related Industries (LFPDERI), D.B. Herath said.
Accepting the Report of the Committee appointed to look into the Cattle Virus Disease, Herath said his Ministry in collaboration with the Department of Animal Production and Health would take responsibility to prevent and control the spread of LSD. A three-pronged solution would be given and one would be to import a vaccine from the UK as it would take some time to produce the vaccine in Sri Lanka.
However, the Veterinary Research Institute has the capability and expertise to produce the vaccine locally. But till such time, a stock of the vaccine will be imported to treat the animals. Herath noted that according to experts in the field, the disease only affected 40% of the cattle population. It was fatal to only five per cent of animals suffering from it, he reassured.
The State Minister said the intervention of the Defence Secretary and the IGP would be sought to mediate the transport of cattle. Meanwhile, the regulation when transporting cattle was that it required the recommendations of a veterinary surgeon and a transportation licence.
Fielding questions regarding the cost of the vaccine and the time period required to import it, the State Minister said a survey would be done to assess the number of cattle in each Province, while the details would be submitted to the Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health, Dr. R. Hettiarachchi. He noted that each dose of the vaccine cost Rs 700 and that it would take approximately one month to bring it down from the UK.
Dr. Hettiarachchi noted that LSD was a rare disease, which causes nodules on the skin of affected cattle. It later develops into small wounds from which excretions flowed. The disease was first noted in cattle in Kopai in the Jaffna area.
Dr. Hettiarachchi appealed to dairy farmers and cattle owners to refrain from moving cattle around to curtail the spread. Also she urged them to ensure that the cattle were provided with a bio safety environment free of insects – especially mosquitoes.