The livestock sector is undergoing rapid changes in response to pressures from globalisation and rapidly growing demand for animal food products in developing countries. This sector is one of the organised and vibrant segments of agriculture industry of Pakistan having enormous contribution in GDP. One of the diseases affecting health and production of livestock is Blackleg. It is a bacterial disease affecting young thriving animals from 3 months to 2 years of age more commonly. Blackleg is the cause of severe financial losses to cattle raisers in many parts of the world including countries of south Asia especially tropical areas of India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
The disease appears in the form of lameness in one or more legs, a pronounced swelling with characteristic crepitating sound. For the most part major outbreaks are prevented by vaccination although outbreaks still occur occasionally in vaccinated herds of cattle incompletely vaccinated. Keeping in view the significance of this disease and its impact on cattle health and economics of the farmers the present study was designed to address the key features related to this particular disease which were never studied before. Seven hundred and fifty cows from six districts were selected randomly and sampling of disease suspected animals was done throughout the year.
The results showed that highest number of positive cases were observed in district Muzaffargarh (4.8%) and Bhakkar (4%) followed by Rahim Yar Khan (1.6%), Layyah (1.6%) and Nankana Sahib (0.8%) respectively. Similarly seasonal variation in the occurrence of this disease was one of the notable features in this study. Highest number of cases of this disease appeared in district Layyah (42.2%) and Muzaffargarh (44.4%) during the months of May to August while in district Rahim yar khan maximum number of cases appeared during the months of January to April (15.5%).
This epidemiological investigation clearly indicated the risk population and the areas which need to be monitored for eradication of this disease. The results of this experiment were quite shocking indicating variable hemolytic ability to red blood cells of various species.
Black quarter can be fatal to the dairy or meat farmers stock especially to the calves up to the age of one year. Therefore proper diagnostic approaches like PCR and precautionary measures if adopted can be helpful in avoiding huge economic loss. A well grown, disease free and healthy heifer is actually a good investment to produce more milk, increased production life with more calves thereby helping towards food security in the country.