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Outbreak of an unknown disease in agrarian areas of Odisha's Kendrapara district has claimed 13 cattle over the past one week, a veterinary official said today. Unofficial reports however, put the toll at 50. The disease hit areas are mostly from Iswarpur and Dangmal gram panchayats close to the Bhitarkanika national park, the official said. The veterinary units are on the job to contain the cattle disease. A vaccination drive is underway and over 200 cattle have already been vaccinated. As per symptoms observed from dead cattle, it appeared that the cattle were affected by SARA (Sub-Acute Ruminal Acidosis) disease, said Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO), Chaitnya Kumar Sethy. "The disease is yet to be diagnosed though it is suspected to be 'Sara' from the symptoms.
Blood samples of infected cattle were sent for laboratory test. Mass vaccination drive has been undertaken and veterinary surgeons are keeping close watch on the situation", the CDVO added. Veterinary officials said the whole of the cattle population was being covered under the vaccination drive and were hopeful that the disease would be contained. However, locals alleged that though the outbreak of the disease was reported more than a week back, vaccination drive got underway only on Thursday. Huge backlog of vacancies in the posts of veterinary surgeons and livestock inspectors has aggravated the situation further, the villagers said. Around 50 milk-yielding cows have perished since past one week in these villages while nearly 100 cattle farmers are battling to save their domesticated animals from the deadly disease, the villagers said. The remote villages are home to around 2000 cattle farmers. Besides cattle farming, fishing and crop cultivation are alternate livelihood sources. Dalits and migrant scheduled tribe labourers constitute sizeable bulk of the demographic pattern of the backward villages.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)