SADIQABAD - Let alone the goats and sheep that are dying of a contagious disease with the death toll of more than 400, also a rare species of deer are also falling prey to the disease in Cholistan and on the verge of extinction allegedly due to unavailablity of animal vaccination against the disease.

It is also feared that the death toll will increase further. Four months ago, a mysterious disease spread due to which cattle worth millions of rupees died but until now the responsibility of the loss had been claimed by no one. Now the disease has become contagious one.

The local people alleged that the Livestock Department purchases vaccination worth hundreds of thousands of rupees annually from the Punjab government for the animals of Cholistan but only in papers and the officials plundered the money provided for this purpose by maintaining fake record.

They said that in the last two years, their cattle had not been vaccinated due to which their cattle worth millions of rupees had died. They added that the vaccination had not been started despite repeated complaints submitted to the wing.

They further said that they repeatedly complained against the issue but the personnel did not pay any heed to their grievances amid the fear of extinction of deers besides the high level killings of other animals. They demanded that the Punjab government should immediately provide vaccination for the animal in Cholistan against the disease and compensate the loss. 

When contacted, The district livestock officer said that a team had been dispatched for  examination. The team will send different samples to laboritories for test for appropriate steps to be taken, he added.

As per another report, hundreds of goats have died so far during the last four months in Cholistan due to a contagious disease erupted allegedly due to the negligence of the Cholistan Development Authority's Livestock Wing that "did not carried out vaccination of the cattle".

From Cholistan's Toba Wazirwala, Toba Doso and in Noor Sarawar, goats and lambs worth hundreds of millions of rupees have died so far. Vaccination of cattle is the duty of Livestock Department throughout the district but the duty was assigned to the CDA Livestock Wing, said sources. "The Punjab government releases funds annually for Mobile Veterinary Dispensaries. Despite the huge staff of Livestock Wing, the officials and staff are often found busy hunting and other non-professional activities, added the sources," they said.

"The Livestock Department has taken no practical action regarding vaccination of cattle except issuance of statements."