Saturday, December 04, 2021

Odisha: 100 sheep of rare breed die in remote village

The animal husbandry department has received official reports of nearly 60 cases of death from the said village, officials said.

By: PTI | Kendrapara |
January 6, 2017 1:47:31 pm

 

Sheep for sale lie on the ground at La Saline slaughterhouse in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 4, 2015. Reuters photographer Andres Martinez Casares: "The grunts of a pig or the bleating of a goat are one thing. Then there's the sound of animals about to be killed. That's something else. If you haven't heard that before, it's quite something. It's very early in the morning when this happens, well before dawn. Day after day, it's the same toil over and over again. The market of Croix des Bossales, in an area that once held a slave market, stands among impoverished Haiti's interim parliament compound, shipping ports, and downtown Port-au-Prince. The outdoor slaughterhouse of La Saline, which supplies the market, is mired in mud and littered with rubbish. It's a cluster of shacks, some with tin roofs, other with tarpaulins. It isn't among the best neighbourhoods, so to start with it was complicated being there. Little by little people became more trusting and let me work in peace to document the daily grind of killing and preparing the market. Smell is one of the most basic associations we have, taking us back to childhood or reminding us of a loved one. The stench produced from burning animal skins is very distinctive. But the smell that best defines this place is a mix of damp earth, animal dung and blood, which you can savour from the road when you pass by. If in the future I happen to chance on that kind of smell again, I am sure it will take me back to Port-au-Prince in the hours before dawn." REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares  SEARCH "SLAUGHTERHOUSE" FOR ALL IMAGES      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY Veterinary surgeons have rushed to the village to take stock of the situation and collected blood and stool samples of the animals for laboratory test. (Reuters/Representational image)

Over a hundred sheep of a exclusive breed, found in coastal Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts of Odisha, died in the past one week at a remote village, triggering worry among veterinary experts. Reports of large scale of sheep locally called ‘kuji mendha’ have poured in from Subala village under Mahakalpada police station jurisdiction in Kendrapara.

The animal husbandry department has received official reports of nearly 60 cases of death from the said village, Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) Chaitnya Kumar Sethy said. However no sheep death has been reported so far from other parts of the district, he said.

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As the death is localised in nature with occurrence confined to one village, it could mean that things have not assumed epidemic shape, he said adding the department is keen to curb sheep mortality in the village as the breed was conferred ‘rare and singular species’ tag by Union Government last year. The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources NBAGR) had accorded genetic recognition to ‘kuji’ breed of sheep, he said.

Veterinary surgeons have rushed to the village to take stock of the situation and collected blood and stool samples of the animals for laboratory test. The stool samples would be tested at Kendrapara laboratory while blood samples are being sent to College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, Sethy said.

As a precautionary measure, the animals are being vaccinated to enhance their disease immunity. In winter, the sheep are mostly afflicted with worm infection, foot and mouth and septicaemia diseases. The ‘kuji mendha’ is typical breed of sheep. These breed of sheep are fast breeders and give birth multiple times while sheep in other parts of the state give single birth at a time.

As the NBAGR has recognised it as genetically rare status, the veterinary department is giving emphasis on conserving these domesticated species. “We have initiated measures to stop spread of sheep death to other parts,” Sethy said. Because of multiple-birth characteristics, rearing of ‘kuji’ sheep is a profitable livelihood source.

The district animal husbandry department has begun awareness drive to sensitise sheep farmers on commercial viability of sheep-rearing, the official said. A sheep farmer from Subala village said “I have lost a dozen of sheep. I earn my livelihood from rearing kuji mendha. If mortality continues, I will be on streets”.

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