45 cows seized from smugglers die of hyperthermia in Tripura shelter after being kept in open space during rains

  • At least 45 cows, seized by the BSF while being smuggled to Bangladesh, died due to alleged neglect at a cow shelter in Tripura

  • The in-charge of the cow shelter said the cows died of 'hyperthermia' as they were kept in open space and there were incessant rains over the last six days

  • There is only one cow shelter in Tripura at present, said the director of state animal resources development department

Agartala: At least 45 cows, seized by the Border Security Force (BSF) while being smuggled to neighbouring Bangladesh, died due to alleged neglect at a cow shelter being run by an NGO in Tripura. Joshine Antony, in-charge of the cow shelter at Devipur in Sipahijala district, about 26 kilometres from capital Agartala, said the cows died of "hyperthermia" as they were kept in open due to paucity of space and there were incessant rains over the last six days.

The deaths took place during last three days starting from Sunday, officials said. Altogether, 159 cows, which were kept in the cattle shelter (gaushala) have died since 14 May.

At present 700 cattle are lodged in the gaushala, Antony told reporters on Tuesday.

The cow shelter was constructed by a Delhi-based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) on 14 May following an agreement with the Tripura government for housing the animals seized by the BSF personnel from cattle smugglers.

 45 cows seized from smugglers die of hyperthermia in Tripura shelter after being kept in open space during rains

Representational image. Reuters

She said 45 cows died in the gaushala in last three days as they were under open sky and drenched in rain water. "There were incessant rains for the last six days and the 45 cows were in open sky, drenched in rains and died due to hyperthermia", she said.

After 40 cows died on Sunday and Monday, veterinary doctors from state government visited the shelter and collected samples like urine and blood, "but the report is yet to reach us", she said.

"The cattle seized by the BSF in the border outposts (BOPs) two to three months ago were shifted here by the BSF. It was an emergency situation as there were a lot of deaths happening in the BOPs and the BSF was not able to take care of them," she said.

"We took the responsibility of those cows, but till date we have not received any support from the state government," she claimed.

All expenditure is borne by the NGO, she said, adding the state government only provided four acres of land for making the shelter.

When contacted, the director of state animal resources development department, Dilip Chakma said the NGO took the responsibility for the cattle seied by the BSF.

"They have taken the responsibility for looking after the seized cows and the department has given four acres of land for temporary utilisation. Green fodder was not available. I have learnt that some cattle have died because of want of food," Chakma said. Chakma said he had earlier asked the NGO to provide full quota of feed to the cows.

"On humanitarian grounds, we have provided them land as they did not have land to accommodate the large number of cattle," the director said, adding that at present there was only one cow shelter in the state.

Updated Date: Jul 16, 2019 23:17:57 IST