`Reports of cattle deaths unfounded`

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IMPHAL, January 30: Reports of a mysterious disease having claimed the lives of 300 cows and 200 buffaloes in Senapati district published in various dailies proved to be unfounded after a team from the Directorate of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry conducted a spot enquiry, stated Dr Saidokhum Joute, the director of the Animal and Husbandry department. Speaking in a press meet at his office today, he said the investigative team was led by principal investigator Dr Ng Ibotombi and Pathologist Dr T Dorendrojit who went to various spots to investigate about the matter along with the help of various farmers, village chiefs and chairmen.

The director said the investigative team with the help of the Senapati veterinary joint director Dr K Gopal Singh looked for any traces of the disease at several areas but didn`™t come across any of the cattle because the farmers had sent off their cattle deep inside the hills and expected them to be back only in April. The investigative team also enquired about the carcass of any of the dead cattle so that they can collect blood samples for investigation but the farmers were unable to provide any dead cattle, he added.

Veterinary and Animal Husbandry minister Govindas Konthoujam also enquired to know how far the reports were true from the department as well as the local MLA Dr V Alexander Pao. However, the MLA also didn`™t have any knowledge of the veracity of the report but mentioned the deaths of four cattle due to the foot and mouth disease to the minister, he said.

He appealed to the farmers that if they detect any traces of illness by their cattle than as a first step they should report to the concerned department for treatment while also adding that preventive measures will be put in place by organising vaccinations programmes in the area.

According to principal investigator Dr Ibotombi, the investigative team rushed to the spot and met the farmers along with several village chiefs and chairmen to enquire about the deaths of many cattle from a mysterious disease reported in several newspapers.

He said they asked about any such instances at several areas in the district in the last few days but the farmers were not aware of any such cases in their villages. Dr Ibotombi also said the team gave the vaccination to prevent their cattle from any common diseases.

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