Health and Veterinary authorities, who ruled out anthrax as the cause of death of ten cows consecutively at Nalukodi near Changanassery, have said they were inquiring into the possibility of the animals being poisoned.

One of the 12 cows owned by Thressyamma Job, showed uneasiness, breathlessness and salivation on Monday morning.

She sought the veterinary department’s help but by evening other cows started showing similar symptoms.

By Tuesday morning, eight of her cows succumbed to the as yet undiagnosed disease. Two others were killed later Tuesday, leaving only two calves in the cattle shed.

Deputy Director (Animal Husbandry) Gopalakrishnan Nair said they have ruled out the possibility of anthrax as the cause of death. “It could either be a case of hemorrhagic septicemia or the result of a criminal act of poisoning,” he said. The authorities have conducted post-mortem on the deceased animals and samples have been sent to Regional Laboratory at Thiruvalla, he said.

Fodder sample collected

Samples of the fodder have also been collected.

The Department will begin vaccination of cows in the area from Wednesday, he said.

The owner of the cows and the neighbours have been put on prophylaxis treatment.