3k goats, sheep dead from viral disease

- ARJUN SHAH, BAJURA

Feb 18, 2016-

More than 3,000 goats and sheep have died in Bajura in the last one and a half months due to a highly contagious viral disease named Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), causing distress among farmers. 

The disease, also known as goat plague, was first spotted in Rugin village in the district last December, and rapidly spread to 11 village development committees, the District Livestock Services Office said.

According to the office, 3,070 goats have died so far, and the figure is likely to increase. As the disease has been raging out of control, an emergency meeting was held on Tuesday by the chief district officer which decided to request the concerned authorities for help. 

Villages like Rugin, Badhu and Bichhyama in the district’s northeast have been most highly affected with 2,196 goats and sheep dead. Likewise, 209 goats and sheep have died in Wai, Jukot, Saapata and Gotri villages. The death tolls in Budhiganga and Atichaur have reached 301 and 464 respectively. 

“We have received reports of cattle deaths in other areas too,” said Siddha Raj Joshi, officiating chief of the District Livestock Services Office. 

Hundreds of farmers who have been eking out a living by rearing goats and sheep have been hit. 

Dev Narayan Jaisi, a livestock technician, said that eight goats belonging to Lal Chandra Budhthapa in Rugin died while undergoing treatment. “There are no medicines to treat the disease, but supportive treatment may decrease the mortality rate.” 

A technician from the Regional Animal Disease Diagnosis Laboratories in Dhangadhi, who conducted field visits in the district, has identified the disease as being PPR. 

“Subsequently, we mobilized our technicians in the disease-affected areas and issued them vaccines,” said Jaisi. He added that 49,010 cattle had been vaccinated. The livestock office has received 50,000 vaccines. 

There are more than 91,000 sheep and goats in Bajura. 

The symptoms are sudden onset of fever, nasal discharge and diarrhoea. 

The disease can be spread by contact with infected animals, and death follows in three to four days. As cattle from Humla, Mugu and Kalikot are brought to the district to graze, the disease could spread to these areas too, said technicians. It has made a comeback in Bajura after eight years. 

PPR was first reported in Ivory Coast in 1942, where it was called Kata (pidgin for Catarrh), according to reports. In 2007, China reported the first case of PPR.

Published: 18-02-2016 08:16

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