UMERKOT: Over 150 lambs and goats have been died in the past couple of weeks from a viral outbreak and many more have fallen sick in Umerkot and adjacent areas.
A team of livestock department officials visited the two villages, Meghar and Maro Bah, where around 120 deaths were reported from.
The viral outbreak of Newcastle disease has already killed more than 115 peacocks in Thar and surrounding areas.
The team consisted of the director of animal husbandry, Dr Abdullah Mewati, Dr Noor Muhammad Soomro and Dr Masood Ahmed, examined the animals and took blood samples. They were informed by villagers that more than 150 lambs and goats had died.
The residents of Tharparkar district depend largely on livestock. This outbreak will definitely have a damaging impact on their lives and might also cripple them economically. The people usually treat their sick animals with traditional methods and claim that no government team has visited the area for vaccinating the animals for years.
Villagers Muhammad Ayoob Nohri, Qadar Bux, Abdul Haleem and others said that if there is any more delay in the monsoon than more animals will die. However, Dr Soomro of the animal husbandry team said that the lambs and goats were dying of a ‘seasonal disease’. But he said that it needs to be contained before it kills more animals.
Dr Ahmed of Tando Jam University took blood samples from the sick animals.
Meanwhile Dr Mewati assured the villagers that the viral outbreak will be contained soon. “The district livestock department has been provided with medicine, vaccine and other resources,” he said.
Vaccination has already begun in Umerkot under the supervision of district officer, Abdul Ghani Bajeer.
Though the district has three government institutes for animals in Umerkot, Sofi Faqeer and Nabisar, but they have been in dilapidated condition for several years.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.