Bacterial Infection Kills 50 Buffaloes in Chiang Rai Village

 | Thu 6 Nov 2014 23:35 ICT

CityNews – Around 50 buffaloes have collapsed and died from a bacterial infection in a Chiang Rai village in the past few days.

Photos: Natthawat Arm.

Some of the bodies were seen floating in a nearby swamp, panicking residents of Samanmit village in Wiang Chai district.

Around 30 of the dead animals belonged to former village headman Suk Norrarat, 60. He said he had owned around 53 buffaloes and never had any problems before, but yesterday they appeared lifeless and had dry noses.

Between the early morning and afternoon, he said, around 30 of them collapsed with difficulty breathing and later died.

Another 10 appear to have the same illness, and others have gone missing in a nearby wood. Together, Suk said, his dead and missing buffaloes were valued at around 3 million baht.

Vets and officials from the Department of Livestock Development inspected the village and concluded that the buffaloes had suffered from haemorrhagic septicemia, a bacterial infection that can be fatal to livestock but does not affect humans.

Official said the disease is rare as buffaloes are usually vaccinated against it, but Suk didn’t take his animals for the vaccination this year. He may have inadvertently spread the disease after visiting other buffalo owners living nearby.

Officials and villagers separated the dead animals from the live ones, which they vaccinated. An area with a radius of five kilometres has been declared an epidemic zone, and the dead buffaloes will be buried there and not eaten.