UMERKOT, Aug 30: Intentional or unintentional but livestock officials are accused of using expired vaccines to control outbreak of a mysterious disease among cattle which has killed scores of animals in Thar, it was reliably learnt on Thursday.
Villagers have urged the government to take action against the officials responsible for using expired vaccines, and order revaccination of all animals.
The vets’ teams visited the villages without prior information, hence scores of animals missed the shots for being in fields for grazing, villagers complained.
Some 200 sheep and goats expired in three villages last month because of breakout of Des Petititis Rumuiants among livestock in Umerkot and adjoining villages.
The director general of livestock department responded promptly by sending a team of veterinarians to the affected areas, including Meghar, Diatriyo, Maroohar and Maroobah villages.
The director of animal husbandry Abdullah Mewati also set up a camp in Umerkot to cover union councils of Kaploor and Khokhrapar.
Chanesar Halepoto of Marooher village showed vials labelled PPR vaccine with manufacturing date of 2011 and instructions to use it within six months.
Mohammad Hussain Arisar questioned hasty arrival of several teams in villages after media reported outbreak of the disease which he termed a sheer waste of public money.
The veterinarians’ team, he said, did not treat or examine animals and just sold medicines to villagers. Another villager Mumtaz Halepoto complained about expired medicines which instead of controlling the disease resulted in loss of their source of livelihood.
It was learnt that scores of villagers handed over an expired vaccine’s vial and number of vials without carrying any label to Sindh Minister for Population Welfare Ali Mardan Shah. Removal of labels had created doubts among villagers.
The minister questioned the officials after receiving complaints about expired drugs and outbreak of disease among animals and they admitted to mistakenly administering shots of expired medicines to animals.
They said that they could not check the manufacturing date but would revaccinate animals in both the UCs.
Deputy Director, Livestock, Umerkot Abdul Ghani Bajir denied using expired drugs and said the outbreak was controlled after vaccination.
Residents of Ratnor, Menhro, Lalabah, Kaplor, Ramsar, Dhanasar, Jetrarr, Saboo Je Dhani and Maroobah villages claimed that around 20 sheep and goats died in each village after vaccination.