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Lumpy disease takes a pandemic form in Meherpur

Over 2000 cows die in August

Published : 16 Sep 2023 09:49 PM

Lumpy skin disease has taken a pandemic form in Meherpur district, killing scores of cattlehead and worrying the local farmers.

Lumpy skin disease (LSD), a viral cattle-disease, has affected 285 villages in Meherpur and killed 560 heads of cattle, according to government data. However, upon inquiry in the villages of Shalika and Kona in the Sadar upazila, it has been found that 20 cows died in these villages in the last month.

It has also been found that 25 heads of cattle died in the villages of Sahgalpur, Kathuli and Garabaria of Gangni upazila in the same duration. 

According to this calculation, over 2 thousand heads of cattle died in the last month. On the other hand, goats and sheep are also dying due to nitrate poisoning. The only help that the farmers are receiving is in the form of prescriptions. The district animal husbandry department said that the medicine bought with the budget received this year had run out in July. 

Veterinary surgeons at the Sadar upazila Animal Hospital have been seen handing out prescriptions stamped with the name of the medicine. The farmers have no option but to buy the medicine from outside. 

Some dishonest butchers are taking this opportunity to slaughter the diseased cows and sell the infected meat at the price of Tk 500 per kg, instead of the market price of Tk 750 advertising this meat as healthy. Consumers are buying this meat at a discount due to lack of knowledge. 

Inquiries have found that in Majhpara of Kola village in the Sadar upazila, farmers Shareef Hossain, Jaynal Hossain, Parvez Ali, Hayat Ali and Omar Ali have all lost one cow each. In Shalika village of Sadar upazila, veterinary doctors Rafiul Islam, Rajdul Islam, Minajul Haque and 10 of the village farmers lost one cow each. 

Rayhan Ali, owner of Baganbari Agro Farm in the same village, said that the cows in his barn have been affected by the disease. Many farmers in the village are losing cows due to lack of treatment. On the outskirts of the district town near the police lines, 15 goats died of nitrate poisoning in Shamsul Alam Liltu’s farm. He was forced to sell the remaining 50 goats at minimal prices. 

Shamsul said that he incurred a loss of almost 3 lakh taka. Ramjan Ali of Sholmari village in Sadar upazila said that he had taken his LSD-affected cows to the District Animal Hospital. Hospital authorities had given him prescriptions for antibiotics and other medicines, but he had to bring the affected cows back home due to his lack of money to buy the medicines. 

According to the Animal Husbandry Department, there are 2 lakh 89 thousand heads of cattle in the district. Prescriptions have been given for 40 thousand of them. Sadar Upazila veterinary surgeon Dr Syed Sakibul Islam said that even though there are workers at field-level, there are no actual accounts of the number of affected cows. 

He said that 50 cows are being brought to the hospital for treatment every day. He also said that there is no budget for buying medicine according to the demand. The received medicines were exhausted in July. Now they are forced to only hand out prescriptions.