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At least 19 cattle have died of mysterious disease in Thingba Khunou under Purul block of Senapati district since Wednesday, creating panic amongst the villagers. The veterinary department collected samples from the corpses of the cattle for testing.
According to villagers, at least 15 cattle, mostly buffalo, were found dead in the nearby forest on Wednesday afternoon as the villagers went to collect their cattle. It is learnt that there have been no reports of any cattle sickness prior to the incident. Four more cattle died on Thursday, further aggravating the situation.
“We are very helpless as we fear that this disease might wipe out our entire cattle which is our source of income. We appeal to the authority to intervene and prevent this disease from spreading further”, said PT Tholi, village chairman.
Joint director of the district veterinary, Dr Sani Pao has ruled out an epidemic and instead called it to be a case of food poisoning. “The death of the cattle is very rapid which is an indication that it cannot be an epidemic. Moreover, our initial investigation has found that the cattle drank water from the same pond in the area which we believe could be contaminated” said the doctor.
Around 80 bovines of the village were reportedly kept confined in an enclosure about 3 to 4 kilometres away from the village in the nearby forest to prevent the animals from destructing the paddy fields with only a pond as the source of water for the animals. A villager of Thingba also confirmed that most of the cattle kept in confinement drank water from the same pond.
“It has become a norm in the village to confine our cattle in the enclosure after we are engaged in paddy fields or some other work. We have been practising this for nearly 30 years now. We have never encountered a problem as grim as this,” said Kaba Solomon, a villager.
While panic-stricken villagers have started shifting their remaining cattle to the nearby village, 20 more cattle are said to be missing.~IndianExpress