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Friday, Feb 22, 2002

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Cows swallow more than they can digest

Ch. R.S. Sarma


PLASTIC bags inside cows! That's what veterinary doctors had to remove after operating upon cows kept at the gosala run by Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy temple on the Ratnagiri hill in East Godavari district.

The bags, weighing about 10 kg removed from some cows there, once again bring to the fore the perils of plastic waste. Of the 86 cows in the gosala, several had fallen ill during the past month and two had succumbed to the illness.

Post-mortems revealed that the cows had consumed polythene bags containing the remnants of prasadam strewn about thoughtlessly by the devotees.

A team of veterinarians doctors has rushed to the place to save the remaining cows. T. Venkateswara Rao, in charge of the gosala, said operations would be performed on the rest of cows too, if necessary.

The veterinarians have suggested to the Executive Officer of the temple that pasture land should be allocated exclusively for the cows.

"The episode clearly shows how callous we have become and how we are ruining the environment, making it unsafe for man and beast alike," Dr T. Patanjali Sastry of the Centre for Environment (Rajahmundry), said, calling for a ban on the use of polythene bags in the temple.

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