Seven buried after they died of starvation

Seven emus that died of starvation at Queen Emu Farms, Bolanaickanpalayam, in the district, were buried on Saturday even as the administration deputed teams of veterinarians from the Department of Animal Husbandry to various farms in the district to check the health of the birds that were abandoned by emu contract farming promoters, who have gone underground after the multi-crore scam came to light on August 6.

More than 20 birds reportedly died of starvation in a few farms as there was no one left to take care of them. The administration asked the Bolanaickanpalayam panchayat administration to provide feed for the birds.

“We have taken up the task because the mass death will create serious public health problems,” panchayat president T.P. Somasundaram said.

At Susi Emu farms, the revenue officials were supervising the maintenance of the birds. “We have formed teams of veterinarians to check the health of the emu birds and take care of them. We are handling the situation effectively,” Collector V.K. Shanmugam said.

The condition of the birds in various other farms was not known. Officials in the Animal Husbandry Department, however, said they were not authorised to disclose any information to the media regarding the condition of the birds. Police officers said over 350 persons registered complaints with them on Saturday. Overall, about 4,000 complaints had been lodged from investors across the State.

M.K. Ananth reports from Namakkal:

On a request from the Erode district administration, a team of four experts from the poultry, nutrition, microbiology and pathology departments of the Veterinary College and Research Institute (VC&RI) in Namakkal, studied the condition of the birds at Susi Emu Farms on Friday.

The team visited two major Emu farms of Susi Emu Farms that house nearly 4,500 fully grown birds. All of them were well maintained and in sound health, a doctor who was part of the team said on Saturday. The feed at the farms would last for a maximum of 10 days. According to him a fully grown emu consumes 650 to 700 grams of feed everyday, which drops to 400 to 450 grams in the breeding season. The birds had a good volume of fat in their body and could even go without feed for about a week. Workers at the farm were asked to provide a maintenance ration of at least 500 gm of feed and drinking water of 1 to 1.5 litres every day.