Panic among dairy farmers as mysterious disease kills 62 cattle heads in 2 villages in Bathinda - Hindustan Times
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Panic among dairy farmers as mysterious disease kills 62 cattle heads in 2 villages in Bathinda

ByVishal Joshi, Bathinda
Jan 17, 2024 09:06 AM IST

Bathinda deputy director of animal husbandry Dr Rajdeep Singh said 40 cattle died at Raike Kalan while 22 dairy animals reportedly perished at Sooch village.

Sixty-two cattle have died due to a mysterious disease in two villages of Bathinda district in less than a month, creating panic among the dairy farmers.

Punjab animal husbandry director Gursharanjit Singh Bedi during inspection of Raike village in Bathinda on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)
Punjab animal husbandry director Gursharanjit Singh Bedi during inspection of Raike village in Bathinda on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)

Bathinda deputy director of animal husbandry Dr Rajdeep Singh said 40 cattle died at Raike Kalan while 22 dairy animals reportedly perished at Sooch village.

“Nearly 70 cattle are under treatment at both the villages. The illness causes high fever and has affected cows and buffaloes of all age groups. Teams have been deployed in the field, and the situation is under control,” he added.

Singh said nitrate toxicity has emerged as the cause of mortality in a few cases at Raike Kalan and Sooch villages, indicating the ruminants were fed green fodder with high levels of urea content.

Officials said it is premature to attribute deaths and illness to foot and mouth (FMD), a highly contagious viral infection.

Experts from the Jalandhar-based North regional disease diagnostic laboratory took samples, and detailed results are expected on Wednesday, officials said.

According to the farmer union activist from Raike Kalan, Kulwant Sharma, animals are still sick, and there has been no improvement in the situation.

“High fever was noticed among cows and buffaloes. Veterinary teams are camping at the village, but the dairy farmers are panicked as the cattle die almost instantly after falling sick,” he said.

After visiting Raike Kalan and Sooch village on Tuesday afternoon, director of the state animal husbandry Dr Gursharanjit Singh Bedi said no mortality was reported in the last four days, and the ill cattle are being treated.

Bedi said the outbreak is limited to two villages as, to date, no such mortality has been reported from any other part of the state.

“Field inspection says there is nothing to panic. Teams are monitoring the situation constantly. We are awaiting the report to determine if the illness was a viral or bacterial infection, but the sick animals are responding well to the treatment,” the director added.

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