Gujarat Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel has said that 1240 cattle have died so far due to lumpy skin disease in the state.
However, Opposition alleged that the death toll is 25 to 30 times higher, claiming the state government is hiding the death toll as it did during corona pandemic.
Around 50,000 cattle infected with lumpy virus are being treated, 1240 died and 15 lakh are being vaccinated, the minister said in Jamnagar on Saturday evening, after a meeting with Jamnagar Municipal Corporation officers.
Kutch District Congress Committee president Yajuvendrasinh Jadeja alleged that the government figures are far from truth and around 25,000 – 30,00 cattle have died in Kutch itself.
Jadega said there is no scientific disposal system, the dead cattle are simply being dumped on the outskirts of town or villages.
“If you visit the town, you can find cattle bodies lying on streets. Municipality is running short of manpower and infrastructure to collect bodies and dispose,” Jadega alleged.
Bhuj municipality President Ghanshyam Thakkar, said “Initially, we could not ascertain how fast the disease is spreading or how many cattle lost life but as large number of cattle deaths are being reported, municipality has dug deep pits and bought two metric tonnes of salt for the disposal of bodies.
“In Rajkot city too, there is a long waiting list for getting cattle bodies disposed. Sometimes, the corporation does not even respond to calls,” Ranjit Mundhva, pastoralist from Rajkot, alleged.
Mundhva fears that if bodies will remain lying on the street for long, it will create other health issues.
Kutch Congress Committee has started a survey and is asking pastorals to fill forms sharing details of dead cattle, Jadeja said, adding that the idea is to know the right number of deaths and run a movement for compensation.