COIMBATORE: As the postmortem of a male elephant found dead in the Madukkarai forest range revealed that it had died of anthrax, Animal Husbandry Department officials, with help from the Forest Department, vaccinated a number of cattle in Nallur Vayal and Alandurai areas on Sunday.
The elephant, a tusker, was dead near Karunya Nagar in Kombuthooki Amman Koil forest beat.
Chances of anthrax spreading to cattle being high, a team led by Alandurai veterinarian Dr S Vennila, with help from forester S M Sasi and forest guard Chola Mannan, vaccinated about 50 cattle on Sunday morning. On Monday, a vaccination drive would be conducted in Sadayandikoil village.
“We are concentrating on the surroundings of Alandurai in view of the wild elephant death’s there. Though it is not a panic situation, we are vaccinating the cattle as a precaution,” said a senior official with Animal Husbandry Department.
Meanwhile, Forest staff have asked local farmers to bring their cattle for vaccination on Monday to the local veterinary hospital and instructed them not to let their cattle graze in the Kombuthooki Amman Koil forest area.
The deadly chain
Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis
The bacteria produce dormant spores that can survive in the environment for decades
Animals, both domestic and wild, become infected when they breathe in or ingest spores in contaminated soil, plants or water
These spores soon turn into active growing cells and the bacteria multiply to produce toxins and cause severe illness and death
Anthrax can occur in four forms — skin, inhalation, intestinal, and injection
In case of skin form, a small blister with a black centre forms
Inhalation form comes with fever
Abscess at the site of drug injection found in injection form
Immunisation of domestic animals a must to prevent spread of anthrax
Prompt disposal of dead animal’s manure, bedding by cremation or deep burial
Isolation of sick animals
Disinfection of stables, pens and equipment used on livestock