70 head of cattle die at Panchkula's Mata Mansa Devi Godham

Poisonous fodder suspected; 3-member panel to probe matter, submit report

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 28

Around 70 head of cattle, including cows and calves, died in a suspected case of consuming poisonous fodder at Mata Mansa Devi Godham, which is run by the Panchkula Gaushala Trust, near the Mansa Devi temple complex.

The cattle died after eating the fodder on Tuesday evening, an official said.

Though the exact cause of the death of such a huge number of cows is not yet known, the organisers and officials are suspecting that some devotee, who visited the shelter, may have given them foodstuff that caused food poisoning.

“One thing is clear that food poisoning was not due to the fodder given to them by us. Had there been food poisoning due to fodder, the deaths would have been much higher. As fodder was served to cattle in all seven sheds, why were fatalities reported only from two particular sheds – number 1 and 2?” Dr Naresh Mittal, secretary of the trust, said.

The facility has a total of seven sheds in which nearly 1,400 head of cattle are kept.

Haryana Speaker and local MLA Gian Chand Gupta visited the gaushala to take stock of the matter. He asked officials to investigate the incident.

He was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja, who said they had constituted a three-member committee, which would submit its report in three days. The police have collected the footage of CCTV cameras installed in the sheds to investigate the matter. Dr Anil Banwala, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Haryana, said they were inspecting fodder and water given to these animals. The samples have been sent to Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Hisar for forensic examination.

According to Dr Banwala, they received information about the incident around 9.30 pm yesterday and a team of veterinary doctors was dispatched to the cow shelter soon after. “All animals who had fallen sick were given treatment in the sheds throughout the night. However, it was too late to revive nearly 70 of them,” he said.

The carcasses have been sent for a post-mortem examination and an investigation is underway. This is the second such incident in the past two months.

In August, 18 head of cattle had lost their lives after consuming poisonous fodder at a gaushala in Saketri.

 

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