On Wednesday, October 28, at least 70 cows died due to suspected food poisoning at a cow shelter attached to Mata Mansa Devi temple in Haryana's Panchkula, officials informed. Meanwhile, another 30 cows are responding to treatment who also reportedly fell ill at the Mata Mansa Devi Gaudham, an official of Haryana's Animal Husbandry and Dairying Department informed.
The officials have collected the water and feed sample from the shelter and are waiting for the test reports to arrive at a conclusion. "We have collected water and feed samples and we can only arrive at any conclusion when we receive the test report... but prima facie, it looks like a case of food poisoning," the official said.
Ravinder Chihgal, the General Manager (honourary) of the cow shelter said that vets were called on Tuesday, October 27 evening when he came to know that some cows had fallen ill. Chihgal, who is currently out of station said that he got the reports that the cows at the shelter died of food poisoning. He however denied that the cause of the food poisoning was due to the fodder given by the shelter authorities.
"The reports I have got is that the cows died due to food poisoning. But one thing which is clear that food poisoning was not due to the fodder we gave them. We suspect that some devotee who visited the temple was carrying some foodstuff which he gave to the cows causing food poisoning," Chihgal told news agency PTI over the phone.
Adding further Chihgal said the cows which died were from two particular sheds. There are a total of seven sheds in which nearly 1,400 cows are kept and fatalities have been reported only in two sheds, he said while adding that if it was a case of food poisoning due to fodder, deaths would have been much higher.
Furthermore, Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta, who is an MLA from Panchkula, visited the cow shelter and said he was deeply saddened by the incident. Gupta said he will get an inquiry done to find out if there were any lapses that led to this incident. He also assured that all necessary precautions will be taken in other gaushalas (cow shelter) to prevent such incident,
(With PTI inputs)