Kutch : Caretakers at cattle shelter noticed some cows falling unconscious around 7.30 pm. Rajendra Kothari, manager of the mandal, “After our caretakers rush to us and complained of animals falling unconscious, we took not time for bringing veterinarians to the spot. Unfortunately, of 95 sick cows and calves, we could save only 30.”
After post-mortem report of 65 cows and calves, who were found dead in a cattle pound in Rapar taluka of Kutch district on Sunday, report has concluded cyanide poisoning as the cause of death. This is the second such incident in Kutch in about a year. The incident took place at the Bakna Vid cattle pound of Shri Jivdaya Mandal, its located 7 km from Rapar town. It is a trust running three cattle pounds in Rapar with around 8,000 animals.
According to research, Young, rapidly growing plants are likely to contain high levels of prussic acid. New sorghum growth following drought or frost is dangerously high in cyanide. Pure stands of Indian grass that are grazed when the plants are less than 8 inches tall can possess lethal concentrations of cyanide. Generally, any stress condition that retards normal plant growth may increase prussic acid content. Hydrogen cyanide is released when plant leaves are physically damaged by trampling, cutting, crushing, chewing, or wilting.
Area where cattle shelter is located has witnessed seven inch of rain within a few hours last Thursday and moderate rain continued for next two days. Few experts suspected that flooding of the pound due to the rain caused the incident, but authorities denied it.A government veterinary officer Shailesh Chaudhary clarified, “Post-mortem of the cows established that they died of cyanide poisoning, which had accumulated in green fodder they were fed Saturday afternoon. Cyanide content remains high in tender fodder, and drinking water after consuming such fodder can prove fatal for the cattle. However, these deaths are not related to rain.” Kothari said the millet fodder had come from nearby villages like Kakarva, Adoi and others.
“We require around 10 truck-load of fodder every day. All the animals were given the green fodder on Saturday. But veterinarians told us that drinking water after consuming cyanide-affected fodder could prove fatal. So the cows, which drank water after consuming millet stalks, fell sick and 65 of them died,” he said.
In April last year, 24 cows and calves had died at Narayan Sarovar Gaushala and Panjrapol at Narayan Sarovar village in Lakhpat taluka of Kutch after eating maize fodder, which had developed nitrite poison due to lack of ventilation after being cut from the field.
Source : Indian Express