At least 98 cows and calves died in a suspected case of food poisoning in a cow shelter on the outskirts of Vijayawada city in Andhra Pradesh.
The dead cows were shifted to the veterinary hospital for post-mortem to determine the cause of the death while some other cows that also fell sick were being treated, animal husbandry department officials said.
Krishna District Collector M Imtiaz and Vijayawada Sub Collector Misha Singh visited the privately-run cow shelter under the aegis of "Gou Samrakshana Sangham'' at Kotturu-Tadepalli village and spoke to the organisers.
The Collector noticed that there were more cows in the cow shelter than it could actually hold.
He directed the animal husbandry department officials to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and submit a report.
Endowments Minister V Srinivasa Rao also visited the place on Saturday evening.
It is suspected that a chemical substance could have got mixed in the fodder that was fed to the cows in the cow shelter after Friday midnight.
Police also took up investigation of the case.
"We will determine the exact cause of the deaths after the post-mortem. We are probing the case from different angles," a senior police official said.
There were about 1,400 cows and calves in the cow shelter, where they were provided shelter after being rescued from different places.
This is the first time such an incident has been reported at the cow shelter, which was set up in 2003.
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