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Cattle continue to perish on Majuli sandbars

By Pankaj Borthakur

JORHAT, Aug 6 - Data available with the State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department reveal that 42 more heads of cattle, including milch cows, heifers and calves, died on Friday on two sandbars of the Brahmaputra river namely, Tikrai Sapori and Major Sapori in Majuli subdivision, due to poisoning and starvation in the aftermath of the recent devastating flood.

Though farmers have been seeking prompt action from the Government to contain the deaths of cattle, veterinary officers and field assistants � who are short of manpower � have allegedly failed to do so due to lack of sufficient stocks of medicines including liver stimulants, astringents, anti-diarrhoeal antibiolates and stomachic medicines prescribed to treat cattle diseases.

Instead of engaging all the field assistants of the department to assist veterinary officers, the administration has allegedly engaged many of them in transporting and distributing fodder among farmers in the flood-hit areas of the river island.

�Our field assistants have been engaged in the distribution of fodder, which is not part of the official work. If the field assistants are engaged to assist us, several other cattle can be cured on the sandbars,� a veterinary officer pointed out.

He said they need liver stimulants like Livotus Liquid, Feroliv Liquid, Brontone Liquid and other medicines to treat cows, heifers and calves, which have developed symptoms of hepatotoxicity, photosensitization and renal failure after consuming poisonous shrubs.

Along with various astringents, anti-diarrhoeal antibiolates and stomachic medicines, 800 bottles of essential liver stimulants and 900 vials of antibiotic medicines were sought a few days ago from the Central Veterinary Store, but veterinary officials are yet to receive the medicines.

Since the last few days, the rise in the number of cattle deaths on the sandbars has caused serious concern among farmers and government officials. Preliminary diagnosis has revealed that most animals have died due to consumption of poisonous shrubs.

As the recent wave of floods destroyed grass and other fodder plants on the riverside meadows, the cattle have been feeding on the leaves of Lantana camara, a poisonous shrub, which is not affected by floodwaters and grow in an invasive way throughout the sandbars.

Official data reveal that more than 150 cattle have perished on the different sandbars of Majuli since the past three days. The figure is more than 300 according to unofficial sources.

Several veterinary officers told this correspondent that it was necessary to deploy more than 25 veterinary officers and 20 additional field assistants in Majuli to treat hundreds of ailing cattle.

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Cattle continue to perish on Majuli sandbars

JORHAT, Aug 6 - Data available with the State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department reveal that 42 more heads of cattle, including milch cows, heifers and calves, died on Friday on two sandbars of the Brahmaputra river namely, Tikrai Sapori and Major Sapori in Majuli subdivision, due to poisoning and starvation in the aftermath of the recent devastating flood.

Though farmers have been seeking prompt action from the Government to contain the deaths of cattle, veterinary officers and field assistants � who are short of manpower � have allegedly failed to do so due to lack of sufficient stocks of medicines including liver stimulants, astringents, anti-diarrhoeal antibiolates and stomachic medicines prescribed to treat cattle diseases.

Instead of engaging all the field assistants of the department to assist veterinary officers, the administration has allegedly engaged many of them in transporting and distributing fodder among farmers in the flood-hit areas of the river island.

�Our field assistants have been engaged in the distribution of fodder, which is not part of the official work. If the field assistants are engaged to assist us, several other cattle can be cured on the sandbars,� a veterinary officer pointed out.

He said they need liver stimulants like Livotus Liquid, Feroliv Liquid, Brontone Liquid and other medicines to treat cows, heifers and calves, which have developed symptoms of hepatotoxicity, photosensitization and renal failure after consuming poisonous shrubs.

Along with various astringents, anti-diarrhoeal antibiolates and stomachic medicines, 800 bottles of essential liver stimulants and 900 vials of antibiotic medicines were sought a few days ago from the Central Veterinary Store, but veterinary officials are yet to receive the medicines.

Since the last few days, the rise in the number of cattle deaths on the sandbars has caused serious concern among farmers and government officials. Preliminary diagnosis has revealed that most animals have died due to consumption of poisonous shrubs.

As the recent wave of floods destroyed grass and other fodder plants on the riverside meadows, the cattle have been feeding on the leaves of Lantana camara, a poisonous shrub, which is not affected by floodwaters and grow in an invasive way throughout the sandbars.

Official data reveal that more than 150 cattle have perished on the different sandbars of Majuli since the past three days. The figure is more than 300 according to unofficial sources.

Several veterinary officers told this correspondent that it was necessary to deploy more than 25 veterinary officers and 20 additional field assistants in Majuli to treat hundreds of ailing cattle.

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