PESHAWAR  - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to take emergency measures for protection of livestock from Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) after its outbreak in other parts of the country.

Soon after receiving reports about outbreak of LSD in Sindh and Punjab provinces and infection of animals, the Livestock department started holding consultations on emergency basis for chalking out strategy to protect animals from the new disease reporting for the first time in the country, informed Director Livestock KP, Dr. Iftikhar Alam. Talking to APP, Dr Iftikhar said LSD is a serious viral disease of cattle and buffalo that spreads through bite of mosquito or parasite.

However fortunately, he continued, no case of infection of LSD in animals has been received so far in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but we are taking all preventive measures to cop up with the outbreak. As a first step to control the disease from spreading in the province, 12 check posts on different entry points would be set up, Iftikhar apprised APP. These check posts, he continued, will be set up at Abbotabad, Charsadda, D.I.Khan, Peshawar, Manshera, Haripur, Nowshera, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Swabi, Sub-Division Daranzinda/Jandola and South Waziritan. Secretary Livestock KP, Dr. Muhammad Israr Khan directed concerned authorities to depute technical staff on all these check posts for spraying of incoming animals besides keeping a check to prevent entry of any infected animal.

He also directed for launching of awareness campaign for information of livestock farmers about preventive and treatment measures. Livestock farm owners have also been directed to arrange mosquito repellent spray within the surroundings of their farms and in this regard inform concerned department.

Consultation is also under process for arranging of vaccination for treatment of infected animals and for this purpose budget will be soon forwarded to Finance Department for approval of funds, Iftikhar added.

Iftikhar said presently there is no treatment of infected animal and the disease is also causing mortality. The infected animal can also not be consumed for eating by slaughtering as the meat also get infected and become not eatable, he went on to say. Iftikhar said the disease is new in Pakistan and therefore its treatment is not discovered as a result of which mortality is reported in affected areas.

Meanwhile, President Livestock Farmers Welfare Association KP, Muhammad Asif Awan has urged its members to take preventive measures for safety and protection of their animals. He said livestock farmers also have to take measures for protection of their stock while government is also taking all possible steps in curbing the outbreak. He stressed for setting up of check posts in all the 35 districts of the province to develop a strong check and vigilance on entry points. Asif Awan also demanded of government to set an amount as compensation if in case any infected animal died or culled for preventing spread of the disease. Without taking such measures, people will avoid to report infection of their animal to avoid losses, he opined. He urged dealers of livestock to stop bringing animals from other provinces for few days as safety measure. He said the incubation period of the disease is between four to 14 days and any animal which apparently looking health might be carrier and can cause spread of infection. If any farmer found symptoms of Lumpy Skin Disease in his animal, he should forthwith contact Veterinary section of Livestock Department, Asif advised.