NEW DELHI, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- India on Wednesday launched an indigenous vaccine to contain the lumpy skin disease outbreak in cows, officials said.
The vaccine Lumpi-ProVac Ind -- developed by the two institutes of India's agriculture research body, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) -- was launched by the federal agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
The federal ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare said the vaccine launch has provided "a big relief to the livestock of the country".
The vaccine has been launched at a time when many Indian states are battling the outbreak of lumpy skin disease among the livestock.
According to the ministry, research institutes have been engaged in developing the vaccine ever since the disease came to India in 2019.
"Scientists accepted this as a challenge and undertook limited trials in a short period, and have developed a vaccine 100 percent effective complying with all standards, which will be effective in getting rid of the lumpy skin disease," the ministry statement said.
Tomar has directed officials to provide the vaccine in large numbers at the earliest for relief to the cattle.
According to official estimates, there are 300 million livestock in India.
Lumpy skin disease is a viral disease that spreads through blood-feeding insects like certain species of flies, mosquitos or ticks and through contaminated food and water. The disease causes acute fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, salivation, soft blister-like nodules all over the body and difficulty in eating among cattle.
Reports said the disease has now spread to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Andaman and Nicobar. ■