Kerala decides on mercy killing of 90 disease-infected cattle

Thrissur (Kerala), Sep 11: A high-level meeting of experts of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) here on Sunday decided that 90 head of cattle which tested positive for deadly brucellosis disease two years ago will be put to death in two weeks' time.

Speaking to IANS, KVASU Registrar Joseph Mathew said all the department heads concerned attended the meeting which decided on the mercy killing of the animals at their Thiruvazhamkunnu cattle farm in Palakkad.


"We will now submit a detailed report to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) on the protocols of administering euthanasia to these affected cattle. I expect to get their clearance in a week's time and once that comes, we will undertake the procedures for euthanasia under the supervision of our veterinary anaesthetists," he said.

"Before that we will now have to get the confidence of the locals around our farm because any fears of a mass burial which might be raised will have to be cleared. So, by the time the permission from AWBI comes, we plan to clear any doubts the locals might have," he added.

The meeting came when the AWBI stepped in and asked the varsity not to move or kill the infected animals without anaesthesia. The AWBI had received a complaint from a whistle-blower about the KVASU plan to transport and kill these head of cattle as they had tested positive for the deadly disease also called Malta fever.

The AWBI pointed out that transporting and killing the infected cattle without preceding anaesthesia, would be in apparent violation of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals (PCICDA) Act, 2009, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), brucellosis is transmitted to humans from animals through direct contact with infected materials like afterbirth or indirectly by ingestion of animal products and by inhalation of airborne agents.

Consumption of raw milk and cheese made from raw milk is the major source of infection in humans.


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