Contaminated water: Stray cattle die at NMP

Urea poisoning is suspected to have caused the death of four stray cattle within a week near New Mangalore Port (NMP) in Panambur.

Sources told DH that containers filled with chemicals like urea and potash were transported from the port without mandatory precautionary measures.

The chemicals that spilt from the truck dissolved in the water being sprinkled on the dusty road by New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT).

“It is this contaminated water which quenched the thirst of stray cattle grazing in open areas,” animal rights activists said.

About 12 days ago four cows in NMPT Koorikatta gate were found dying and gasping for breath. The animals had bloated bellies and were immediately attended to by a rescue team from Animal Care Trust (ACT) in Shaktinagar. 

However, they succumbed on the spot despite the best efforts to save them. “The water sample collected from the drain was sent to a laboratory for investigation,” advocate and ACT honorary treasurer Suma Nayak told DH.

Many stray cattle are found on the road leading to Nandaneshwara Temple and Panambur beach. The cattle do not have access to clean drinking water.

Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) Veterinary Officer Dr Kamalamma told DH that urea poisoning was suspected to have caused the death of the cattle. A post-mortem could not be conducted to ascertain the exact reasons behind the cattle death because the carcass had decomposed.

The NMPT traffic manager was not available for a quote. Suma Nayak said they had requested NMPT to prevent stray cattle deaths by placing troughs of drinking water for them.

“NMPT bluntly told us that there was no provision to place troughs,” Suma said and hoped that like-minded people would take cue and place troughs with drinking water for stray cattle.

'Port unsafe for humans'

Suma Nayak said that a huge drain close to the road at the port had turned into a death trap for many cattle. "We discovered the pit after a bull got trapped in it. The bull was rescued by ACT members. The drain should be barricaded," she added. 

Panambur Beach Development Authority chairman Yatish Baikampadi said the road leading to Panambur beach near NMPT gate had become a headache for bike riders.

The stretch had turned slippery due to chemical litter. Many riders had hurt themselves when the vehicles skidded off the road, he added.

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