28 cattle die of suspected food poisoning in Mohali

Pictorial representation. Photo credit: Reuters

At least 28 cattle have died after consuming stale, leftover food of hotels and restaurants in Punjab's Mohali, officials said on Monday.

Though dairy farmers have claimed that more than 90 buffaloes and cows have died in the past four days at Mohali's Kandala and Shafipur villages, the district authorities have pegged the death count to 28.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan has marked an inquiry into the incident to his Additional Deputy Commissioner and sought a report within three days.

Dairy owners Jarnail and Tarsem Lal have claimed that over 90 milch animals have died in the last few days.

Teams from Guru Nanak Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Ludhiana and Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Jalandhar visited the dairy farms and examined the cattle, officials said.

The viscera results of the dead cattle have been sent to Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, they said.

"As per the preliminary investigation, it is a case of food poisoning," Director of Punjab Animal Husbandry Inderjit Singh said.

As per the preliminary investigation, one Miyanji has been supplying food to dairy farmers.

Officials suspect stale food picked up from local hotels and restaurants was supplied to the dairy farmers.

The leftover food, which costs much less than cattle food, was infested with toxic bacteria and fungus, they said.

Meanwhile, the director of the Animal Husbandry Department said moisture in the air creates mycotoxins in animal feed, which is not fit for consumption.

Singh said animals must be fed top-quality feed and advised farmers to destroy fodder and feed completely if it catches fungus. 

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