The final autopsy report of 34 cows, found dead in a shelter in Chhawla in July, has revealed that 15 had eaten huge quantities of plastic and inedible items. The report also suggested that each animal had over 8 kg of plastic in its stomach.
On August 2, The Indian Express had reported that the initial post-mortem suggested that most of the animals died because of “impaction”, which causes failure of digestion. According to sources in the animal husbandry department, ingestion of plastic is one of the major causes of impaction.
The post-mortem examination was conducted at the Government Veterinary Polyclinic in Ghazipur. The shelter is run by the Acharya Sushil Gosadan Trust at Ghumanhera village. Police found that a total of 1,400 cows were housed at the shelter, of which 36 had died. Twelve more cows died later.
Sources told The Indian Express that an autopsy was performed on 34 carcasses. “The final findings suggested that over 20 died of impaction. Of these, 15 had 8-10 kg of plastic in their stomachs,” said an officer.
“Two cows died of diarrhoea, three of pneumonia and dehydration, and one of traumatic reticuloperitonitis (perforation of the reticulum) as a sharp-edged object was found in its stomach. Some had acidosis (excessive acidity caused by eating rotten food),” added the officer. According to officials of the department, a cow needs 30-40 kg food daily and those at the shelter were malnourished and weak. An official said the “final report will be completed soon and sent to higher authorities”.
Police had launched an investigation after the incident, while Minister of the animal husbandry department Gopal Rai had also ordered an inquiry.
The cow shelter was not being funded by the Delhi government for at least a year because of “violations”. It had also been served multiple notices by the animal husbandry department.