A virus killed more than 150,000 cows and threatens the sacred animal of India

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Thousands of orthodox Hindus took to the streets to demand urgent action to save the life of this animal, which they consider a mother, after images were released in slaughterhouses with thousands of dead cows. The lumpy skin disease outbreak has already infected more than 2 million of these cattle

A virus has killed more than 150,000 cows and threatens India's sacred animal

The lack of a vaccine to help stop the spread of this virus led the health authorities to provisionally administer the goat vaccine, which is applied to goats and sheep, and whose efficacy is close to 80%, the deputy director of the Institute explained to EFE. of Veterinary Research (IVRI), K. P. Singh. ("Entering the Temple"/2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest/Category: Cities/Location: Pushkar, Rajasthan, India)

The spread of a virus that has already killed more than 150,000 cows are causing concern in India, seeing how a skin disease without specific treatment threatens this animal sacred to Hinduism, unleashing the anger of many.

Thousands of orthodox Hindus took to the streets in the northern state of Rajasthan last September to request urgent action to save the life of this animal, which they consider a mother and which also carries 330 million gods inside it, after images were released in slaughterhouses with thousands of dead cows.

The protest, which degenerated into clashes with the Police, was led largely by militants of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who blamed the opposition regional government.

OVER 150,000 COWS DEAD

The culprit is an outbreak of Lumpy Dermatosis that has alreadyinfected more of 2 million cows and killed more than 150,000, as confirmed to EFE by the deputy commissioner of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairy Products of India, Sujit Nayak.

A virus has killed more than 150,000 cows and threatens India's sacred animal

Researchers said that if proper treatment and vaccination is given to cows, the mortality rate is reduced to between 5 and 10%. EFE

This disease is caused by a provirus and is considered endemic in various parts of Africa. It can cause death in cattle, although its greatest impact is more associated with decreased fertility and milk production.

The disease appears as nodules on the animal's skin , mainly on the head, extremities, udder and genitals, which later degenerate into deep wounds. Its contagion through vectors such as mosquitoes increases during rainy periods.

IN SEARCH OF A VACCINE

The lack of a vaccine to help stop the spread of this virus led the health authorities to provisionally administer the caprine vaccine, which is applied to goats and sheep, and whose efficiency is close to 80%, the deputy director of the Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), K. P. Singh, explained to EFE.

In this way, “if vaccinated cows become infected, they will only show mild symptoms” and time will be gained until a specific indigenous serum is developed, which is expected to be ready within three to six months, said the expert.

A virus has killed more than 150,000 cows and threatens India's sacred animal

This disease is caused by a provirus and is considered endemic in several areas of Africa. It can cause the death of bovine animals, although its greatest impact is more associated with a decrease in fertility and milk production. EFE

Singh warned that “a detailed study on this disease is required”, since what is known “is insufficient” to determine if it can be transmitted to humans or other animals, although if proper treatment is given and cows are vaccinated, the mortality rate drops to between 5 and 10%, he said.

LACK OF ATTENTION

Although, once again, what this disease has brought to light is that despite the fact that cows are sacred to Hinduism, their care is scarce, and it is common to see them wandering skeletal among traffic or through the streets, stopping to graze among trash.

Society “is not fulfilling its duty to protect our mother cow in the way it is supposed to,” with cows “roaming around and looking for food in piles of garbage,” Prem Pandit, the chief priest of Efe, told EFE. a Hindu temple located in the middle of a “gaushala” or cow shelter.

This shelter, located in the south of New Delhi, provides food and daily medical assistance to more than 1,500 cows rescued from the streets or adopted by the center when, as they stop producing milk and it is forbidden to slaughter them, Indian families abandon them.

A virus has killed more than 150,000 cows and threatens India's sacred animal

Thousands of orthodox Hindus took to the streets in the northern state of Rajasthan last September to request urgent actions to save the life of this animal, which they consider a mother and which also carries 330 million gods inside, after images were released in slaughterhouses with thousands of dead cows.

Almost all the cows in this shelter have received the caprine vaccine and so far they have not recorded any outbreak of lumpy dermatosis, although they are aware of the seriousness that an outbreak could cause in the center, without infrastructure to isolate those infected.

Few “understand their responsibility” to watch over the life of the most sacred animal India, “while the rest are careless”, lamented the priest.

(with information from EFE)

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