Alarming reports of deaths of a large number of mithuns from the hilly areas of East Siang and Lower Siang districts of Arunachal Pradesh have baffled the veterinarians and Health Department officials alike.

It is suspected that mithuns roaming in the hilly jungles of Koyu-Korang area are infected with foot and mouth disease (FMD), causing their death.

According to reports, at least 15 mithuns and ten cows have died so far, while a large number of cattle have fallen sick with FMD in remote Sipu, Sido, Lipin, Korang, Maane and Kakki villages in the past few days.

Though the only veterinary doctor in Koyu headquarters is trying his best to control the epidemic, the disease is spreading because of lack of medicines and shortage of manpower.

The incidents of death of cattle have also given sleepless nights to the farmers who depend solely on cultivation.

FMD infection in reared mithuns and other domestic cattle has also been reported from Mebo-Siluk area in East Siang district.

Notably, the epidemic of FMD had taken place in altogether 57 villages in the State earlier between 1994 and 1995, infecting 6,237 mithuns and killing over 800 animals.

Meanwhile, the Animal Husbandry, Veterinary & Dairy Development (AHV&DD) Department informed through a press release that it is making all-out efforts to contain the FMD outbreak in East Siang district.

The release further stated that the State AHV&DD Minister Mohesh Chai and Secretary Bidol Tayeng are monitoring the situation.

An awareness camp is also being planned to educate the villagers regarding the menace of FMD, it also stated.

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