Help Cattle & Camels In Jaisalmer

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We are writing with regard to the high incidence of Botulism in Jaisalmer, that is claiming the lives of cattle.

Locals from Jaisalmer contacted members of JFAPO asking for help, and an experienced team of vets and experts in livestock was immediately sent to investigate.

After seeing various cases, in the villages of Habur, Serawa and Sanu, the vets confirmed initial suspicions of what was killing these animals – Botulism. This disease has taken a toll of 10% of the livestock population in this zone, where each village boasted of a high cattle population. Numbers have declined over the last 2 years and people are now shifting to buffalo rearing, which has no benefit since buffalos, like cows, can also be infected by the same disease.

Jaisalmer & the surrounding villages are notorious for trace -element deficiencies, like Phosphorus, Calcium & Zinc. Botulism mainly affects milching cows, due to high demand of the animals’ post-partum phases. Animals, driven to seek these trace elements, often consume carcasses, which have spores of this deadly disease. Phosphorus deficiency, disorganised grazing, and improper disposal of carcasses is leading to an accelerating number of deaths.

To combat this growing problem, we have the following recommendations:

1. The area should be declared as a specific mineral deficit area and should be supplied with ad-libitum quantity.

2. Proper disposal of carcasses: A pit (7ft * 6ft) surrounded by a wall can be made in each village. This is a low cost, but effective solution.

3. Education and awareness through literature.