Representative image

Representative image
An unknown epidemic has caused the death of hundreds of cattle at Gumabirsinghur village under this block in Ganjam district.

"There have been no visible symptoms. The cattle are found dead everywhere in forest, riverside, canals, hills and farmlands in the village. This condition has been occurring for the last three days," locals said.

The deadly issue came to the fore after the affected farmers brought the matter to the notice of Berhampur sub-collector. Surprisingly, the veterinary department has failed to tackle the disease as the cause of the outbreak of the disease is yet to be ascertained.

The unknown epidemic has spread panic among locals who held the administration responsible. Among the many farmers who had lost their cattle were Jagili Gouda, Bauri Gouda, Dhaneswar Pradhan, Balram Pradhan, Sudam Pradhan, L Panda, L Seemanchal, Narsingh Gouda, M Andha, D Bijay, K Trinath and M Kameshu.

According to locals, there are four cowsheds in the area. Locals of Lalmenda, Patigobindpur, Gumabirsinghpur and Birmekhpur under Lalmenunda panchayat keep over 700 cows in the shed.

The locals have appointed four caretakers in the cowsheds — M Andha, D Bijay, K Trinath and M Kameshu. More than 100 cattle have died in the last three days, the caretakers claimed adding that at least 20-25 cattle die every day.

On several occasions, locals had written to the block and also the district administration for construction of a permanent cowshed, but to no avail. They presumed that the cattle died due to continuous exposure to incessant rain caused by depression over Bay of Bengal.

On the orders of sub-collector, a team from Nuapada veterinary department reached the village and took stock of the situation. "Due to lack of a permanent cowshed, the cattle have been surviving under rain that is causing the death," Nuapada veterinary doctor Subhasish Mallick said.