Cattle die of unidentified disease in Tamil Nadu town

July 11th, 2008 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Erode, July 11 (IANS) At least 18 cattle have died of an unidentified bovine disease in the past week in Erode district of Tamil Nadu, an official said Friday. “About 18 cattle have died in and around Sathyamangalam town since July 4. Preliminary examinations of the blood and viscera after post mortem have revealed no contagious disease,” K. Periyasamy, joint director of the state animal husbandry department, told IANS.

“We have ordered further tests since we suspect that contamination of water bodies or meadows may have led to the deaths,” Periyasamy added.

He ruled out the spread of mad cow disease in Sathyamanglam, about 350 km from state capital Chennai.

“Our cows have no recourse to commercial feed made of crushed bones and other inorganic materials, which cause mad cow disease,” Periyasamy said.

Although officials said 18 cattle had died, local TV channels reported that over 200 animals had died in the past fortnight.

The Cauvery and Bhavani rivers flowing through the region have been polluted by toxic waste dumped by thousands of textile dyeing units despite the Madras High Court’s repeated intervention on the basis of petitions filed by environmentalists.

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