Unknown Disease Kills Sheep In Hordes In Taplejung

Sheep are dying of an unknown disease in Sidingwa Rural Municipality of Taplejung district.

The sheep raised by the farmers of Ankhop and Sadewa villages of Sidingwa Rural Municipality-3 are dying of unknown diseases.

Many sheep reared by Top Bahadur Budhachhetri of Ankhop, Him Kumar Rai and Sitaram Khadka of Sadewa have died.

Kailash Rai, a local of Sadewa, said that Budhachhetri, Rai and Khadka have been raising sheep jointly and so far about 45 of their sheep died due to unknown diseases.

According to Rai, who is also a local people’s representative, the sheep do not eat grass for two or three days and then die after looking sickly.

Most of the sheep that have died due to unknown diseases are pregnant and have reached the time of giving birth to kids.

According to him, sheep are dying due to unknown diseases and most of the pregnant mothers have given birth to dead kids.

Sheep farmers have suffered huge losses after an unknown disease spread in a herd of about 400 sheep. Farmer Top Bahadur Budhachhetri said that the sheep had difficulty in breathing and had symptoms such as not eating grass.

He said that the sheep would die within two to four days of the beginning of the symptoms and the pregnant sheep have suffered a miscarriage.

Another farmer Him Kumar Rai expressed concern that the sheep herd could be empty if the death of sheep started by an unknown disease was not stopped.

After the start of the winter season, sheep herds have been shifted from the Himalayan pastures to the village to avoid cold and an unknown disease has started appearing in the village about a month after it was dropped, said Rai.

He said that the disease could not be identified even after examination by the veterinarians available in the village.

The veterinary service section of Sidingwa Rural Municipality said that an initiative has been taken to solve the problem of sheep raised by farmers.

According to section chief Angel Babu Karki, the disease has not been identified so far despite the initiative to solve the problem by using the resources available with the livestock branch of the municipality.

Karki said that preparations were being made to collect samples of dead sheep (blood) and send them for lab tests after the disease was not identified.

He said that a sample collection kit has been demanded from the provincial government and the samples will be sent to the provincial laboratory in Biratnagar for testing by Wednesday.

He also said that the problem of miscarriage is more prevalent than the death of sheep due to this disease.

He also said that the problem seen in sheep is getting less severe now than in the beginning.

So far, more than 40 sheep have died, causing a loss of about Rs. 1 million, said the farmer.

According to farmers, the price of a sheep is between Rs. 18,000 and Rs. 25,000.

Meanwhile, the sheep farmers of Phungling Municipality have become panicky after the sheep started dying in Sidingwa Rural Municipality.

Farmer Gopal Bista of Pawakhola in Phungling Municipality-11 said that he has been taking precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

Source : TRN,