Chencho Dema

Punakha – Following the recent outbreak of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), which has taken a toll on the country’s cattle population, dzongkhags have been battling the outbreak against fears of mounting losses. 

Punakha dzongkhag reported losing four percent of its cattle to the disease. As of last week, Punakha veterinary hospital reported 787 cases of (LSD). 

Punakha is one of the five dzongkhags in the country with the lowest LSD-related deaths, with 30 after Gasa and Zhemgang’s six deaths, Trashiyangtse’s 11 cases, and Trongsa’s 12. 

Meanwhile, all 11 gewogs in the dzongkhag have reported cases of LSD and the gewogs include Baarp, Chhubu, Dzomi, Goenshari, Guma, Kabjisa, Lingmukha, Shengana, Talo, Toepisa, and Toedwang. 

The first case was reported in Guma gewog.

Lumpy skin disease is a highly contagious viral disease that leads to the formation of nodules and wounds on the skin, resulting in severe health implications for cattle.

Veterinary officer, Dr Rinchen Tsheirng, said, “I don’t have data to compare with other Dzongkhags, but I am confident to share we have managed the outbreak in a better way which is evident from the case fatality rate of about 4 percent.”

The tendency for a condition to cause death of affected Animal in a specified time is referred as Case Fatality Rate.

Punakha veterinary hospital received required doses of LSD vaccine on the morning of August 21, from National Center for Animal Health. 

The vaccination campaign began on August 24 from Wolakha. 

After the first case was detected on May 8, 2023, the Punakha Veterinary Hospital has created awareness of the disease via social media platforms and by engaging LG leaders. 

He said that they have prioritized their attention and all the field colleagues who worked round the clock to give symptomatic treatment and awareness to all the farmers. “It was a testing time for us,” he added.

After the outbreak of LSD, the dzongkhag administration imposed restrictions on movements of cattle between the Gewog and in and out of Dzongkhag to contain the disease.

Meanwhile, the farmers are relieved with the arrival of vaccine. 

As a precaution, the government purchased a consignment of 338,750 lumpyvac (6,775 vials) for Nu 20.5 million (20,534,495).

The vaccine arrived on August 17 from Türkiye-based Vetal Animal Health Products Inc. 

According to the Integrated Agriculture and Livestock Census 2022, Punakha has 8,363 cattle Population.