40 buffaloes die of haemorrhagic septicaemia in Odisha’s Kendrapara

Locals blame officials for not acting on time, worried about livelihood

By Ashis Senapati
Published: Thursday 23 January 2020

Around 40 buffaloes have died within four days due to suspected Sahana disease (hemorrhagic septicemia) in a number of villages located in the Garadapur block of Odisha’s Kendrapara.

“The disease is currently confined to five villages under the Garadapur block,” Prasanna Kumar Patnaik, the chief district veterinary officer of Kendrapada, said.

“The people of the affected villages have been instructed to keep away from the dead animals and inform officials. If they must handle the carcasses, they should cover their hands with gloves. They have also told to bury the dead animals in deep holes to prevent the spread of the disease,” he added.

The villages include Bantala, Tarada, Purunagopinathpur and Bhagabarpur.

Hemorrhagic septicemia is a severe bacterial disease caused by certain strains. The disease is also spread through contact with infected animals, contaminated clothing, equipment, and through ingestion or inhalation of the bacteria, Patnaik said.

Primary symptoms include swishing tails, reduced cudding, undigested food in faeces and reduced milk yield, he added.

“We sent blood samples of 12 affected buffaloes to the Animal Disease Research Institute (ADRI) in Cuttack to know the exact disease. A team from ADRI also rushed to the affected villages to examine the buffaloes on January 23,” Patnaik said.

However, locals said the response of the government has been tardy.

The officials did nothing to curb the disease that was first detected in the first week of January. It was only after it spread to more villages that they finally began to plan prevention measures, Dibakar Sandha of Tarada village, who lost two buffaloes on January 21, 2020, said. 

Many locals used to earn their livelihoods by selling milk, cheese and curd in the villages and nearby towns. They are now worried about their future.

“I used to earn around Rs 10000 per month by selling milk from my two buffaloes. On January 22, they died,” Samir Das of Tarada village, said.

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