KARACHI: Around 10 to 20 cases of lumpy skin diseases were daily reported in Karachi’s cattle market, which is the biggest in Asia, veterinary Dr Muhammad Sajid said.
“Around 250,000 to 300,000 cattle are here [Karachi’s cattle market],” he said on Aaj News show Sawal Hai Pakistan Ka. “If there is any kind of doubt we take the animal off the vehicle and we are also trying to remove such animals from inside.”
Earlier, this month the World Organisation for Animal Health said that the meat of cattle infected with lumpy skin disease could be consumed by removing the affected areas.
What is Lumpy Skin Disease?
Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a transboundary high-impact cattle pox disease characterised by fever, skin and visceral nodules, according to the OIE-World Organisation for Animal Health. Lumpy skin disease virus shares the genus Capripoxvirus (CaPV) (family poxviridae) with sheeppox virus and goatpox virus.
The rapid and uncontrollable spread of LSD has found the cattle farming industry and veterinary authorities in many cases largely unprepared.
The first such case was reported in 1928 in Africa and it spread across the world. In Pakistan, Sindh accounted for most of the cases. Sources said vaccines for such a disease were imported from Turkey and Jordan. Moreover, Pakistan was planning to manufacture it in view of high cost.
Dealing with sellers is a challenge for buyers, however, this year the latter is dealing with the added pressure of monsoon rain, rising inflation, and the outbreak of disease.
The Karachi cattle market is located on the Super Highway, it has several entry points.
One of the buyers was at gate seven on the market to return the animal. He bought the animal at Rs88,000 in the evening, with little light to check the cow. Upon giving a bath to the animal, he got to know that the cow had spots, a sign of lumpy skin disease.
The distressed buyer lamented that the seller “lied” to him, however, the latter has “promised” to take the animal back.
All the cattle infected with the disease were kept outside the market in order to keep stem the outbreak. Around 12 doctors were stationed to monitor the situation round the clock.
“We are trying our best to diagnose and remove the infected animals,” Dr Sajid said, “symptoms appear late, which causes an outbreak.” He claimed that the health team was conducting strict checking to prevent the disease.
Signs of disease
- Coalescing nodes on skins
- Tears on the eyes and nose
Explaining the checking process, the doctor said that team added the infected animals in the “carrier list” if any were found inside the market. The team kept the animal in observation for one to two days as per its checking process, he added.
Dr Sajid elaborated that the infected animal was taken off from the vehicle and the owner asked to take the animal away. “We are trying to maintain this [strict] mechanism in order to ensure safety,” he said.
An official told Aaj News that the animal was checked by a veterinarian at the entrance according to the policy. The team issued the certificate after conducting the physical examination of the animal.
The complete truck or a single animal was not allowed to enter in case of lumpy skin disease symptoms, he added.
In the case of buyers’ complaints, the official said that such cases are dealt with outside the market and the sellers return the money or change the animal.