IEP Chandigarh, February 13
Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister S. Laljit Singh Bhullar, on Monday, said that the state level free vaccination campaign to prevent cattle from lumpy skin disease (LSD) will start from SAS Nagar (Mohali) on February 15 2023, for which all arrangements have been made.He said, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led government has set a target of vaccinating 25 lakh cattle in the state under this mega vaccination campaign for early protection of cattle from LSD, thus the government has airlifted 25 lakh doses of Goat Pox vaccine from government institute of Telangana. Keeping in mind last year situation when state faced loss of livestock due to LSD spread from neighbouring states, the cabinet minister said that the state government has made foolproof strategy to ensure that this disease could not affect farming community, livestock and agri-subsidiary occupations in the state.S. Bhullar said that as per the decision of Group of Ministers, constituted for the prevention of LSD and to make future strategy, the state level mega vaccination campaign will be started from February 15, 2023, which will last for about 75 days and free vaccination will be administered to all the cattle in the state till April 30, 2023.The Cabinet Minister said that 25 lakh vaccine doses, procured from the government institution “Telangana State Veterinary Biological and Research Institute, Hyderabad”, have been stored at Punjab Veterinary Vaccine Institute, Ludhiana for dispatching to all districts of the state easily. Special care has been ensured to maintain the cold chain for the quality of the vaccine while transporting the vaccine from Telangana, he added.FOOLPROOF ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEGA VACCINATION CAMPAIGNMeanwhile, Mr. Vikas Pratap, Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development informed that a Joint Director level officer has been appointed nodal officer at directorate level for effective implementation of the vaccination campaign, who will monitor day-to-day progress and maintain coordination with other field staff. As per the instructions issued earlier, vaccination will be administered by constituting 773 teams at the level of veterinary hospital/institution and special attention will be paid to maintain cold chain during vaccination.He said that 77 Veterinary Officers were promoted as Senior Veterinary Officers/Assistant Directors in December 2022 to strengthen administrative structure of the department to carry out vaccination drive effectively, monitoring campaign and other departmental schemes at district/tehsil level across state. Besides this, the recruitment process of 418 veterinary officers is being completed swiftly, and about 200 veterinary officers will be deployed after giving appointment letters this month to ensure that these officers could also contribute to the state level vaccination campaign.Notably, the infectious virus, Lumpy Skin Disease had prevalent among cattle in the state on a large scale in July 2022. About 1.75 lakh cattle were affected across the state and about 18 thousand cattle were died during this period.Notably, a Group of Ministers (GoM) comprising Finance Minister S. Harpal Singh Cheema, Agriculture Minister S. Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and Animal Husbandry Minister S. Laljit Singh Bhullar, was formed in wake of the seriousness of LSD and to save the economy of the livestock farmers, which held regular meetings with the experts of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana and departmental officials and took required decisions to devise future strategies for the prevention of disease, animals treatment and prevention of future attack of the disease. The government had airlifted 10.16 lakh doses at a cost of Rs.1.54 crore last year and 9.2 lakh eligible cattle were vaccinated free of cost, as a result of which a rescue of livestock became possible. Apart from this, Rs.1.34 crore was released to the districts for purchasing medicines for the treatment of the affected animals.
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