*State level free vaccination campaign to start from February 15*
*Chandigarh, January 25:*
Punjab Animal Husbandry Minister S. Laljit Singh Bhullar, on Wedesday, informed that the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led government has airlifted 25 lakh doses of Goat Pox vaccine to carry out free mega vaccination campaign for early prevention of cattle from lumpy skin disease (LSD).
He said, keeping in mind last year situation when state faced loss of livestock due to this disease spread in Punjab from neighbouring states, hence 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.
“Complying to the decision of the 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, said the Animal Husbandry Minister, adding that all arrangements have been made to carry out mega vaccination drive, which will last for about 45 days and free vaccination will be administered to all the cattle in the state till March 31, 2023.
S. Bhullar said that 25 lakh vaccine doses have been procured from government institution i.e. “Telangana State Veterinary Biological and Research Institute, Hyderabad”. These doses have been stored at Punjab Veterinary Vaccine Institute, Ludhiana for dispatching to all districts of the state easily. He said that special care has been ensured to maintain the cold chain for the quality of the vaccine while transporting the vaccine from Telangana.
*FOOLPROOF ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEGA VACCINATION CAMPAIGN*
Animal Husbandry Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar said that for effective implementation of the vaccination campaign, a Joint Director level officer will be appointed as a nodal officer at directorate level, who will monitor day-to-day progress and maintainn coordination with other staff. As per the instructions issued earlier, vaccination will be administered by forming teams at the level of animal hospital/institution and special attention will be paid to maintain cold chain during vaccination.
He said that in order to strengthen the administrative structure of the department to carry out vaccination drive effectively, 77 Veterinary Officers were promoted as Senior Veterinary Officers/Assistant Directors in December 2022 to ensure smooth monitoring of vaccination campaign and other departmental schemes at district/tehsil level across state. Besides this, the recruitment process of 418 veterinary officers is being completed swiftly.
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.
In wake of the seriousness of LSD and to save the economy of the livestock farmers, a Group of Ministers (GoM) comprising Finance Minister S. Harpal Singh Cheema, Agriculture Minister S. Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and Animal Husbandry Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar was formed, 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.
It is pertinent to mention here that 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. Apart from this, Rs.1.34 crore was released to the districts for purchasing medicines for the treatment of the affected animals.