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Posted at: Sep 18, 2019, 8:00 AM; last updated: Sep 18, 2019, 5:13 PM (IST)

38 buffaloes die at Karnal institute

Bacterial pathogen infection suspected | Contamination in feed, fodder being probed

Parveen Arora
Tribune News Service
Karnal, September 17

In all, 38 buffaloes have died, while 10 have taken ill in the last six days at the Livestock Research Centre of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI).

Preliminary investigation by the scientists of the NDRI, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izzatnagar in Bareli, and LUVAS at Uchani in Karnal along with the post-mortem reports indicate that symptoms of bacterial pathogen infection might have led to their death. However, the actual reason behind the death is yet to be ascertained.

The scientists have also collected samples of blood, feed and fodder and organs of the deceased buffaloes to determine the cause of death.

“We came to know about the disease on September 11, when two buffaloes felt sick and died the next day. Thereafter, we have taken steps to contain it. So far, 38 buffaloes have died, while 10 are still affected. The actual reason of the death is being investigated by the senior scientists of the NDRI, IVRI and LUVAS. The investigation has suggested that bacterial pathogen infection is the reason behind the deaths as we have found pathogen strains in the vital organs of the buffaloes. We have identified a bacterial pathogen, but we cannot disclose its name as the confirmatory test is under process,” said Rajan Sharma, Principal Scientist and Public Relation Officer.

The scientists are also investigating the chemical contamination in the feed and fodder. “We are investigating the reasons on all fronts, including chemical contamination in feed and fodder and bacterial infection. We have sent the samples in various laboratories and also testing them in our own laboratory to reach a conclusion,” said Dr Sharma.

“We are giving medicines and have kept the affected animals at isolated places in the NDRI,” he added.

Dr Sharma said the investigation also revealed that the buffaloes were more vulnerable to this pathogen as compared to cattle since no report pertaining to cattle death had emerged so far.

He ruled out reports related to death of more than 70 animals, including cattle. He also denied reports of toxic feed and fodder being given and said the same feed and fodder was given to all 2,000 animals. Reports stating that no postmortem was conducted at the institute were also refuted by him.

Complaint filed against institute

Claiming that toxic feed was given to the buffaloes, a person has filed a police complaint on Har Samay portal, demanding action against the authorities. Confirming the complaint, Sanjeev Gaur, SHO Civil Lines, said they had received a complaint on the portal and facts were being verified by them.

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