At least 15 goats have died of a mysterious disease within a fortnight at Thaluthalapatti near Mannachanallur in the district. Until the first week of December, V. Lakshmi, 62, a shepherd, had 30 goats. It came down to 15 after the animals died one after another.
The first goat died on December 5. And two more the next day. The pattern continued until December 19. The goats started watering from the mouth and nose after returning from grazing and then collapsed. “I have been rearing goats and sheep for over 25 years. I have seen the death of one or two occasionally from my herd. But I have not encountered the death of so many animals within a short span of time. It am shattered,” said Lakshmi. Since each would cost at least ₹5,000, she had lost goats worth at least ₹75,000.
Her daughter Kalyani said she took a couple of goats to a veterinarian and had them vaccinated. But it could not prevent their deaths.“We do not know what claimed the lives of 15 goats. We have been forced to watch the animals die in front of our eyes,” said Kalyani.Going by the symptoms, a veterinarian said ruminants, known as goat plaque, could be the reason for the death. It could be controlled by vaccination.