Over 100 cows dead in gaushala in Vijayawada

Over 100 cows dead in gaushala in Vijayawada

Dead cows at the cow shelter.

Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday ordered a probe into the death of at least one hundred cows that died a gaushala (cow shelter) in Vijayawada during Friday night. Food poison is suspected for the death of cows in large numbers.

Officials are saying that the real reason behind the death of cows will be known only after they receive postmortem reports and also reports on the fodder that was fed to these animals by the caretakers.

The cows are sheltered at the Kothur-Tadepalli gaushala on the outskirts of the city where a number of abandoned cows and those rescued from being sent to slaughterhouses are sheltered. Some were donated by devotees.

According to the organizers of the cowshed, all the cows were given feed around 7 pm on Friday. The cows started collapsing one after another by 9 pm. Even the calves that suckled their mothers were found to be sick.

 "Our watchman called me at around 9.30pm. By the time I rushed to the gaushala many cows were lying dead", gaushala committee member Sahu said.

He says that the number could be more.

The police have detained watchman and the caretaker who gave the feed to the cows on Friday night.

The police are also examining the CCTV footage to check if suspicious people entered the gaushala in the preceding days.

Vijayawada Municipal Corporation veterinary directors are monitoring the treatment for the cows that are seriously ill. Postmortem by the state veterinary hospital doctors is taking place at the Gaushala.

In fact, 24 cows died in the gaushala run by the same committee on 7 May in 2015 due to food poisoning. The cows were fed with stale wheat flour supplied by a trader. The shed used to be near Kanaka Durga temple in the city. After the tragedy, the shed was relocated to the present location.

Upset cow worshipers besides rising doubts of conspiracy have said that more than 1200 cows were kept under unhygienic condition in the shelter that can accommodate only 300 cows.

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