UPLB cattle herd killed to stop spread of bovine TB
LOS BAÑOS, Laguna — An entire herd of dairy cattle was killed to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB).
Cases of bTB were detected as early as July in the cattle farm of Dairy Training and Research Institute (DTRI), a research unit of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
It has become popular for its bottled fresh milk and other dairy products.
The facility, on the outskirts of the campus, has been in quarantine since this month.
But DTRI officials said they had stopped the disease from spreading.
A total of 192 head of the Holstein X Sahiwal cattle breed were gunned down over five days.
Their carcasses were quickly buried at the DTRI facility that has since been concealed from public view with large tarpaulins.
Shooting, although uncommon, is an accepted method of putting an animal to sleep, said Heidi Caguioa of Animal Kingdom Foundation, an animal welfare group.
“As long as [the killing] is justified, away from public view, shot in the head,” she said in a phone interview.
Animals are usually put down by lethal injection, a method that will be more costly for DTRI, said its deputy director Amado Angeles.
As single gunshots were fired, Angeles, in a chance interview outside DTRI facility, said the process was carried out by “expert marksmen” under the supervision of animal and science experts.
UPLB said 78 head of dairy cattle tested positive for bTB.
“This is not not an outbreak,” the statement read. “The disease did not break out,” it added.
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