Cattle face starvation for want of fodder in Punjab’s Shahkot, Sultanpur Lodhi
As many as 64 villages in Sultanpur Lodhi and 23 in Shahkot are affected by floods caused by breaches in the Sutlej after heavy rainfall in its catchment areas.Updated: Aug 26, 2019 11:37 IST
With water level still increasing in the flood-hit villages of Shahkot and Sultanpur Lodhi sub-divisions of Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts, cattle are either half-fed, starving or are falling sick due to shortage of fodder.
As many as 64 villages in Sultanpur Lodhi and 23 in Shahkot are affected by floods caused by breaches in the Sutlej after heavy rainfall in its catchment areas. While many residents have shifted their livestock to the nearby areas to their relatives’ places, some have their cattle in their houses that are still submerged.
There are more than 5, 000 cattle heads in the flood-affected villages of Sultanpur Lodhi and 4, 000, including 1,500 cows in Shahkot.
“The administration conducted a survey to ensure the safety of livestock,” said veterinary deputy director Dr Pradeep Goyal.
Since the administration could not arrange sufficient dry fodder for the livestock on logistical grounds (due to large volume), it procured feed from the Markfed to supply for the livestock, said a Jalandhar based veterinary officer.
The administrations of the two districts on Friday deployed nearly 50 special vans with a veterinary doctor to conduct house-to-house visits to provide adequate help and food to people and animals. Kapurthala deputy commissioner DPS Kharbanda said feed is being distributed through these vans.
Sick animals are also being treated, he added.
Kharbanda said officials of the food and civil supply, health and animal husbandry departments will carry medicines, ration and fodder to the flood-hit villages with the help of teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF).
On the other hand, many villagers said the administration failed to provide them with either food, medical treatment or fodder.
Sukhwinder Singh of Bharoana village said the fodder and feed they had stored for their cattle was spoilt by the floodwater. “Due to lack of food, animals are getting weak and are falling sick,” he added.
Harinder Singh, a farmer from Jania village in Jalandhar, said, “Ahealthy cow or buffalo needs 6-10kg feed or 12-15 kg dry fodder a day. There is no supply or stock of green fodder. Even the supply of feed is low.”
The administration on Sunday disposed of six heads of cattle that died due to floods in various villages of Jalandhar district. Officials said they have information of the death of nearly 60 cattle heads and they will be disposed of properly.
On Sunday morning, the teams on boats brought the dead cattle from villages and were disposed in the supervision of experts from animal husbandry at Nall village.