Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Cold wave, poor diet hit livestock in rain-affected areas

HYDERABAD: Livestock farmers in rain-affected Nao Kot and Kaloi areas in Tharparkar have been facing an uncertain situation due to the spread of disease and death in both big and small animals.

Farmers generally think it had to do with the growth of toxic plants, which sprung up after rainwater receded from the flooded grazing fields.

However, private veterinary practitioners detected bacterial infections in the animals, which they attribute to consumption of stagnant flood water. The aspect of the recent cold wave as well as poor diet should not be ignored either.

Ghulam Hussain Khaskheli, a farmer of village Juma Khan Khaskheli, Taluka Kaloi, said, “I have lost 12 sheep, dying one after another, a few days back.”

Only in Juma Khan Khaskheli village, farmers have lost 76 animals, mostly goats and sheep within a few days. Some farmers also found a similar illness in buffaloes.

“They tried to treat the animals via traditional methods, but failed to save the livestock,” he added.

Sadiq Khaskheli, another small scale agriculture and livestock farmer, said the diseases shook the entire area, causing death in animals.

Farmers in the neighbouring villages have two options: either taking animals to private veterinary clinics to get their animals vaccinated or applying traditional methods, “since there is no government livestock department office to get help to save animals”, Sadiq said.

Asghar Lashari, a herder of village Khan Muhammad Lashari, said eight goats only from his own herd died, while other animals were fighting for survival.

“We have tried to follow vaccinations, but could not save our assets. It seems that there was either a fault in diagnosis by veterinary practitioners or the medicine itself was ineffective,” Lashari said.

Dr Hoat, who runs his private veterinary clinic in Nao Kot, visits different areas. He said that farmers in rain-affected areas were facing problems due to the spread of different diseases, mainly because of the cold wave and poor diet.

Farmers and herders, who already suffered colossal damage because of the floods, are now even more vulnerable with their animals dying of disease.

Livestock and animals are an important asset for these communities.

These animals provide a safety net in case of a disaster.

If that safety net is taken away from the communities living in Tharparkar, they fall victim to food insecurity, malnourishment, and other associated problems.

Floods inflicted colossal damage on a wide area as Tharparkar district has a small portion that consists of barrage area. Livestock is the main source of livelihood for the community people associated with agriculture.

Rains, followed by floods caused crop losses, destruction and displacement.

Dr Gordhan, deputy director, Livestock Department Tharparkar district, said they have sent teams for vaccination to avoid any loss. “It may be the biting cold, which has hit weak animals,” he said.

He refuted the claim of mortality of animals at larger scale or any outbreak, and said they have already vaccinated animals before and after rain flood. “Weak animals are more vulnerable in this cold weather,” he added.

Source: The News

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