FOLLOWING THE outbreak of canine distemper viral disease in a pocket of Gir (East) forest that led to death of nearly two dozen lions, Forest Department officials on Sunday said that cattle population in 30 villages on the border of Gir (West) forest in Junagadh has been vaccinated and a similar drive is on in Gir Somnanth district. Meanwhile, vaccination of cattle and dogs also concluded in Dhari taluka of Amreli in Gir (East) forest division, a day ago.
“In collaboration with the Animal Husbandry Department, the vaccination drive was launched when the cases (of CDV) were happening. Vaccination of cattle and small ruminants like goats and sheep has been completed in these 30 villages — 14 villages each in Visavadar and Mendarda talukas, and two in Maliya taluka of the district. Cattle have been de-wormed and given foot-and-mouth disease vaccine. Ruminants have been given PPRV (peste des petitis ruminants virus) vaccine,” Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Gir (West), Dheeraj Mittal told The Indian Express.
Between September 12 and 29, 23 lions had died in Sarasiya Vidi, a forest area in Dalkhaniya range in Gir (East) forest division. After tests confirmed that they had been infected by canine distemper virus, forest, and animal Husbandry departments launched a joint drive in Dhari taluka of Amreli on September 23 to vaccinate cattle, buffaloes, small ruminants and dogs in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. They have already vaccinated more than 12,500 cows and buffaloes as well as more than 200 dogs living in around 21 villages.
“We used to organise routine cattle vaccination camps. But after the CDV cases emerged, we undertook a special drive,” the DCF said.