Mystery shrouds death of 48 buffaloes at Haryana's National Dairy Research Institute

The scientists at the NDRI claimed that the buffaloes died to lung infection, but the cause has not yet been officially validated by the institute. More than 1,500 veterinarians and scientists from several institutes are busy finding the main cause behind the mysterious deaths

Diti BajpaiDiti Bajpai   7 Oct 2019 9:40 AM GMT

Mystery shrouds death of 48 buffaloes at Haryana

As many as 48 buffaloes have died under mysterious circumstances in India's biggest institute for dairy research -- National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) in Haryana. The NDRI scientists claimed that the buffaloes died to lung infection, but the cause has not yet been officially validated by the institute. More than 1,500 veterinarians and scientists from several institutes are busy finding the main cause behind the mysterious deaths.

Hundreds of animals are kept in National Dairy Research Institute, based in Karnal in Haryana, for testing and research. After September 11 several buffaloes have been dying one after the other.

On the very same day, in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura, 276 kms to the South-east of Haryana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme -- a vaccination scheme to prevent foot and mouth bacterial infections in livestock across the country.

Dr Rajan Sharma, principal scientist at the NDRI, informed Gaon Connection that 48 buffaloes have died so far. "There are 2,000 animals in this institute. Among the 48 animals that were reported dead, there were no cows. All were buffaloes," said Rajan. "We have been informed that these animals died due to lungs infection, which happens when animals are suffering from pneumonia," he added.

Rajan also said that nearly 150 buffaloes have been separated from the herd and are being examined as they were in the same enclosure as the buffaloes that have died. Scientists say that now the situation is under control.

A few months back, many buffaloes had died due to foot and mouth diseases (FMD) at the NDRIA few months back, many buffaloes had died due to foot and mouth diseases (FMD) at the NDRI

The NDRI researches on milk and milk products, diseases and diagnosis of animals. Teams of scientists from Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (LUVAS) in Hisar, Haryana and Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly are working to determine the reasons behind sudden deaths of so many buffaloes at the NDRI. The cattle keepers at the institute are given training to treat animals.

To verify the cause of death, samples have been sent to LUVAS and IVRI. Dr VK Singh, joint director of veterinary research and diagnosis department of IVRI, who is also investigating samples sent to the IVRI, said: "We are working on this. We can't say more on this matter. As soon as we find the cause, we will send the report to the director of the NDRI."

A few months back, many buffaloes had died due to foot and mouth diseases (FMD) at the NDRI. In 2011, the disease had killed as many as 10 animals and affected 271 animals at the institute.

According to the data of the Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, in 2018, foot and mouth disease claimed lives of 604 animals across the country.

To prevent and control foot and mouth disease, a vaccination campaign was launched in 2004 in the country. But despite so many efforts taken by the government and even after spending a huge sum amounting in crores, this disease could not be controlled.

Earlier, deaths of hundreds of animals were reported in the Indian Animal Research Institute (IVRI) and Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute despite the institutes having FMD vaccination facility.

In India, quality of animal vaccines has always been questionable, said a senior doctor associated with a veterinary institute on the condition of anonymity. "Proper monitoring and strict actions should be taken against vaccine manufacturing companies whenever we come across any such tragedy."

Also Read: Around 25 buffaloes die in Lucknow after consuming toxic water
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