Mysterious disease killing cattle

Disease: An unidentified disease has killed more than eight cattle alarming villagers of  Pheluma chiwog, Orong gewog in Samdrupjongkhar.

Villagers said most of their cows are still sick with the same disease. They said the cow and calves have been dying since November.

Although villagers are not sure of the disease, they said, many died after suffering from a fever that led to the body stiffening up, and continuous drooling of saliva. “Cattle with the diseases die the next day after getting it,” said a villager.

Pheluma chiwog is about three hours walk from the gewog.

As of now, villagers said they have not yet informed the gewog office, but have informed livestock officials. No officials have turned up yet, villagers claimed.

Cheku Wangdi, 38, who lost three cows last week said the cattle first became paralysed in the legs and drooled constantly.

“We did everything but could not save the cow,” he said. He is currently trying to save another of his cows inflicted by the same disease.

He said one of his relatives had gone to inform Renewable Natural Resources staff but the medicine provided had proven useless.

“But today we learned that the livestock official is out of station right now. Most of our neighbours’ cows are still sick.”

Another villager Thinley Penjor from Pheluma Phu said they are yet to inform and find out what the disease is. “We haven’t called livestock officials yet thinking they might not come since we have not seen them for more than a month,” he said. “But we hope the disease is cured as soon as possible otherwise all the animals might die.”

There are no reports of any villagers contracting the disease so far, according to the villagers.

Villagers usually sell their dairy products in Dewathang village and average an income of around Nu 7,000 a month.

Orong Gup Khawjay said no reports have been received but the office along with the livestock officials would investigate soon.

“The livestock officials have always been vigilant and helpful so people’s claim might not be true,” he said, adding they would enquire about the disease today, if possible.

Meanwhile livestock officer Cheten Chedup said there was no report of any animal deaths reported to the office and that they will have to confirm the deaths.

He said livestock officials were in the gewog and busy with the on-going auditing.

“Had we received such information we would have immediately informed veterinary in Samdrupjongkhar and they would be here by now to investigate,” Cheten Chedup said. “We will find out about the case from the villagers since we have gewog tshogdu today.”

By Yangchen C Rinzin, Samdrupjongkhar

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