JAIPUR: About 94 cows have died of suspected food poisoning at a privately-run but government-aided cattle shelter in Rajasthan Churu district.
While the cows started to die in large numbers since Friday night, around a dozen succumbed to death on Sunday, while a few others are still sick, according to officials of the state's Animal Husbandry Department.
The incident took place at a shelter in Bilyubas village of Churu district where the cows began collapsing a few hours after consuming a new Bajra-laced fodder on Friday afternoon. Over 80 cows died between Friday night to Saturday night but 13 more died on Sunday when a team of doctors also arrived from Bikaner and took blood samples of the cows.
Dr. Jagdish Barbud, the Joint Director of the Animal Husbandry Department said that prima facie it seems that the animals died of food poisoning. The teams of the department are present in the cow-shelter located in Bilyubas Rampura village in Sardarshahar, he said.
"We are holding a proper investigation to ascertain if the deaths were due to food poisoning, any disease or some other reason, " he remarked.
They claim that despite a team of 20 doctors and other staff being rushed to the affected shelter, 94 cows could not be saved and others are still being treated.
According to SDM of the area, Reena Chhipa, "the shelter had a total of 465 cows who are kept in separate enclosures. While cows in batches were given the same fodder, animals from one enclosure even drank water from a well in the village. All the cows who have died were from that enclosure who had drunk water from that well. Postmortem has been conducted, visra of the dead animals fodder and water samples have been collected and sent for testing and though the exact reasons of death will be known only when the reports are received," she added.
Ironically, such a large number of cows died just a day before ‘Gopasthmi’, a festival dedicated to cows and Lord Krishna.