VIJAYAWADA: Nine cows died of food poisoning at the Vijayawada Go Samrakshana Samiti-run goshala at Arjuna Veedhi on the foothills of Indrakeeladri, the abode of Goddess Durga, here on Wednesday. Several of the rest 350 cows are sick and the condition of three is reportedly critical.
The food poisoning is suspected to have been caused by Bombay ‘rava’ well past its expiry date, which was reportedly fed to the cows on Tuesday. The goshala caretakers claimed that the ‘rava’ was fed during the change of shift and so no one had noticed it. Incidentally, it is mandatory for the caretakers to enter the name of the persons who feed the animals in the goshala register.
The police are verifying the CCTV footage from the goshala to fix responsibility. When the news broke, there was widespread shock and outrage among the devotees and several demanded stringent action against those responsible.
The government has ordered an inquiry by the District Collector, even as the police have registered a case and are investigating.
According to caretakers, the first death came around 9.30 pm on Tuesday. After noticing that other cows too have fallen ill, veterinarians were pressed into service.
With the situation steadily slipping out of hand, more veterinarians and veterinary assistants were rushed to the place.
By Wednesday morning, it was utter chaos at the goshala. “We suspect that the death is due to Tympanites (gaseous indigestion) due toconsumption of unsuitable feed,” Animal Husbandry Department Assistant Director M Shyamsundar told Express.