The death of 11 cows at a private farm in Payippad, Kottayam, on February 4 and 5 could be due to haemorrhagic septicaemia, a bacterial disease that affects the vital organs of the cattle, according to preliminary investigations carried out by the Department of Animal Husbandry.

The department had swung into action and cows in the neighbourhood of the farm were being vaccinated, a press note issued from the office of the Minister for Animal Husbandry K.P. Mohanan said.

Organ and blood samples of the dead cows had also been sent to the regional laboratories at Thiruvalla and Palode for testing. The press note said the report establishing the cause of death was expected to be submitted in two days.

Veterinary doctors, who carried out the post-mortem examination, had reported symptoms of haemorrhagic septicaemia. The owner of the farm, Thresiamma Job, had reported that someone had poisoned her cows. Based on the allegation, a complaint has been filed at the local police station, the pressnote said.