In a tragic incident, pesticides allegedly dumped at a field in Andhra Pradesh led to the death of at least 56 cows on Monday, after the animals consumed them on Sunday night.
According to reports, farmers in Guntur district woke up to the horrifying sight of several carcasses lying across the field.
All 56 cows reportedly belonged to one cattle herder, identified as Gundala Lakshmaiah, a resident of Neredcherla village in Nalgonda district in Telangana, bordering the two Telugu states.
He had brought 100 cows in total to the area, to ensure that they have enough fodder to graze on.
Some of the cows wandered onto a corn field, which was laced with pesticides like Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) for nearly 20 days after the crop was cut.
After officials were notified, a post-morterm was conducted on the animal bodies.
“Autopsy report shows cyanide content in the cows’ viscera. Normally, cattle have resistance to poison, but if they consume more than 20mg, they can’t survive,” assistant veterinary surgeon, Dr Sheikh Bashir, told ToI.
Speaking to reporters later, the doctor said, “The 44 animals that grazed in other fields are in normal condition. As far as these 56 animals were concerned, the poison takes just 15 to 20 minutes to work. It reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the animal. They begin to feel tremors and suffer from respiratory problems and feel weak and die within a few minutes. We have collected samples of the crop for further investigation but it is an unfortunate accident.”
Upon learning about the incident, the Revenue Divisonal Officer (RDO) of Gurazala, E Murali, rushed to the spot and collected details. He later submitted a report to District Collector Kona Sasidhar.
The report will be handed over to officials in Telangana to ensure that the farmer gets compensation for his cows, each costing Rs 26,000.