As many as 50 goats and sheep have been quarantined after two people, including a goatherd/ shepherd, tested positive for the novel coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday (June 30). The incident happened at a village in Tumakuru district of Karnataka.
The Godekere village in Gollarahatti taluk, which is around 127km from Bengaluru, has around 300 houses and a population of about 1,000. The villagers panicked when they saw that some goats and sheep were showing respiratory problems and thought that the animals, too, have contracted the disease.
An officer in the animal husbandry department of the district told news agency PTI: "A few of the animals whom the shepherd had reared developed respiratory problems....Now that there is corona scare everywhere, people are afraid that the animals too have contracted the disease."
Seeking help from J C Madhuswamy -- the Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister -- the villagers asked him to investigate. Tumkuru district Deputy Commissioner K Rakesh Kumar also joined him to probe the matter.
The animal husbandry department officials hurried to the village and collected samples after the minister directed them to investigate.
However, veterinary experts have put the rumours of Covid infection in goats and sheep to rest. They suspect that the animals are suffering from Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), also known as goat plague, and mycoplasma infection. According to the officer, coronavirus's prevalence has not been recorded in goats and sheep, which means there is no sign of Covid-19 spreading from humans to animals.
The officer stated that the samples collected from the animals had been sent to the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals and veterinary laboratory in Bengaluru. He also said that the animals have been out under isolation as PPR and mycoplasma both are communicable diseases and can spread to other animals.