At least 25 cows have died at a government shelter in Mathana village here due to “incessant rains and non-availability of fodder”. Continuous rains led to water-logging in the shelter. A number of cows got stuck in the swampy land and died. A few others starved to death and many have fallen sick, Kiran Bala, the village head, said. Haryana Gau Sewa Commission chairman Bhani Das Mangla and a few district administration officials visited the cow shelter last evening to take stock of the situation.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate Narinder Pal Malik asked the officials to shift the sick cows to a cattle shelter in Karnal. “Other animals have been relocated to 20 other shelters running in the district … till the repair works here are completed,” he said. Ashok Papneja, the former president of ‘Shri Krishan gaushala’ that provides fodder to the government cattle shelter, said the district administration had raised a boundary wall around seven-and-a-half acres of village panchayat land and “that is how it was built”.
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“At present, there are over 600 cows in the shelter, which lacks proper facilities. There is no fodder and drinking water available for so many cows,” he claimed. Malik said the Mathana gaushala, as it is known as, was started by the district administration and the responsibility of its operation lies with the village panchayat and the state animal husbandry department. District Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Dr Dharminder Singh said the department takes proper care of the animals. The cattle were vaccinated by the staff of a veterinary hospital in the village. “Some weak animals lost their lives after getting stuck in the swampy land. At least 25 to 30 cows have died over the last few days,” he said.