Update: Livestock officials in Orong gewog in Samdrupjongkhar are yet to confirm the disease that killed about eight cows and calves since November in Pheluma and Phelumaphu villages.

Gewog RNR officials have  visited the two villages to confirm the information on the death and  conducted a thorough investigation yesterday.

Since the villagers did not inform the RNR centre immediately after the calves died, the RNR officials had to find out how and when the first death occurred in each household.

The livestock officer based in Orong, Cheten Chedup, said they have gathered all the information, and a “flash report” would be submitted to the dzongkhag soon.

“The villagers didn’t inform us, so it was difficult to get a sample of the carcass,” he said. “Most of them thought it was a natural death.”

Cheten Chedup said that villagers should inform if an animal dies from a suspicious disease, but instead of informing, some of the villagers had consumed the meat, while others had sold the meat within the community.

A few villagers, who informed the village animal health worker, were provided medicines.

“For now, only one cow is sick with the same disease and we’ve already treated it with medicines,” said Cheten Chedup.

Although villagers are not sure of the disease, they said, many cattle died after suffering from a fever like illness that caused the body to stiffen, continuous drooling of saliva and a substance like bubbles from the body. Villagers said that cattle, suffering from such a disease die the next day.

Pheluma chiwog is a three-hour walk from the gewog centre.

By Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupjongkhar