Jalandhar, August 31
The brick floor at the Radha Krishan Gaushala in Chugitti has been dug up at three places wherein six dead cows have been buried and then covered with mud and dung. Similarly, carcasses have been buried at the gaushala of the Apahaj Ashram.
413 head of cattle dead
8,733 cattle infected
44,754 cattle vaccinated
With slaughter houses refusing to lift dead cattle (due to the lumpy skin disease) and other pickers charging Rs 5,000 to 10,000 per carcass, gaushala owners have been forced to bury these in their own shelters.
Krishna, a bull at the Radha Krishan Gaushala, was the first one to get the lumpy skin disease and soon after, other cattle got infected. At present, 20 cows at the shelter are infected.
The situation has improved in the state. The MC and the Rural Development Dept have been tasked with the disposal of carcasses. But, if a gaushala has enough space to bury the carcass as per protocol, it can. Dr Rampal Mittal, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Dept
Satish Kumar, owner of the Radha Krishan Gaushala, said, “There has been a spate of deaths. We don’t know what to do. Pickers were earlier charging Rs 400 to Rs 500 per carcass. But after the lumpy skin disease outbreak, the prices have skyrocketed. Four of my cows and two calves have died. We have been forced to bury their carcasses by digging up the brick floor in the gaushala. We can’t pay Rs 10,000 per carcass.”
“I got all medicines and sanitisers for my cows. Despite visiting veterinarians, no one turned up to vaccinate the cows. I have been running the gaushala for 15 years, but we never seen such a hard time.”
Pardeep Kumar, who lifts carcasses for the Chaheru slaughter house on the Jalandhar-Phagwara highway, said, “The majority of the cows that are being brought here are ill. Also, the cows infected with the lumpy skin disease are no good for us as we can’t sell them further. We are incurring huge losses as no one is buying the damaged hides from us. There are so many carcasses that in some villages, residents are digging up pits to discard these. We have stopped bringing in the infected cows as we are already suffering losses.”
Meanwhile, Tarsem Kapoor, chairman, Apahaj Ashram, said, “We have buried 14 cows on the premises. We dug up a huge pit in the back of the ashram, which cost us around Rs 2,300, and then buried the carcasses there after following the protocol. There were early deaths, but now the situation has relatively stabilised. The milk output of our cows has also halved from 400 kg to 200 kg a day.”