All slaughterhouses and meat shops in the eastern province of Sri Lanka were ordered to be closed for one week from Monday, following the death of over thousand cattle and goats due to extreme cold weather caused by the Mandous cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal.
Eastern province Governor directed to close all slaughterhouses except chicken shops from December 12 to 18 following the sudden death of farm animals in both northern and eastern provinces.
Over 900 cattle died in the northern and eastern province while nearly 600 goats have died in the two provinces. Over 1000 animals were in critical condition and the animal owners had started lighting fires to keep the animals warm.
On Saturday, the government immediately banned the transportation of beef and mutton between districts and provinces and directed the island wide police stations to coordinate the directives. President Ranil Wickremesinghe had ordered to suspend the transportation of meat to ensure the safety of public.
Veterinary experts suspected that the animal deaths were due to a shock caused by cold weather and Hemali Kothalawala Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health said that specimen of animals are being subjected to laboratory tests.
Owing to the unexpected deaths of large number of livestock, animal owners have suffered a loss of over Rs 500 million or over $1.3 million.