Mumbai: HC asks govt response PIL regarding widespread lumpy skin disease among cattle

A PIL was filed seeking that veterinary doctors and diploma holders in veterinary sciences be used to conducting a mass vaccination drive for cattle in the state and Rs. 1.5 lakhs be given as immediate compensation for cattle deaths due to the disease.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 03:43 PM IST
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Mumbai: HC asks govt response PIL regarding widespread lumpy skin disease among cattle | Representative Photo

Mumbai: Observing that lumpy skin disease (LSD) is widespread among cattle in the state, the Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to file its reply.

A division bench of Justices SV Gangapurwala and RN Laddha has asked the government to reply to the plea seeking the framing of a policy or standard operating procedure.

"It (lumpy skin disease) is a widespread disease spreading across the state. You (the government) will have to come up with a policy. We know it will take some time,'' said Justice Gangapurwala.

Against the backdrop of the outbreak of lumpy skin disease among animals in the state, a PIL was filed seeking that veterinary doctors and diploma holders in veterinary sciences be used to conducting a mass vaccination drive for cattle in the state and Rs. 1.5 lakhs be given as immediate compensation for cattle deaths due to the disease.

The petition filed by a former MP Raju Shetti of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana with three other petitioners against the Animal Husbandry, Dairy Department, and the state government among others has also sought that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) be brought in place to control its spread.

The petition mentioned the huge number of cattle deaths owing to the infectious disease as per news reports and the union Animal Husbandry Department.

It jas urged that the government ought to take steps as provided under the provisions of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act.

The plea pointed out that as per the 20th Livestock Census figures of 2019 there are over 3.30 cr livestock in Maharashtra, and there are not sufficient numbers of veterinary doctors for them.

Farmers are already facing hardships due to heavy rainfall and now with their livestock facing the threat of lumpy skin disease, they would require economic support from the government, it said.

The Bombay High Court had kept the PIL hearing on November 17.

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