KARACHI: Hundreds of sheep have fallen ill to a mysterious disease in Umerkot District of Sindh after the death of dozens of wild peacocks in Thar Desert, SAMAA reported on Friday.
According to Livestock Department, veterinary experts dispatched to the affected area visited local villages and undertook tests of sick cattle.
Experts fear that the disease could spread to other areas if it was not timely contained.
Earlier this week, dozens of wild peacocks died suddenly in Thar, prompting experts to fear an outbreak of the highly contagious Newcastle disease.
Officials confirmed the deaths of at least 60 peacocks. Local media reported more than 100 of the exotic birds died.
The wildlife ministry said tests were being done to diagnose the cause of death, but said the wild peacocks had been weakened by starvation, deforestation and a lack of safe drinking water blamed on delays to the annual monsoon rains.
Experts are alarmed by the number of deaths, suspecting they may have been afflicted with Newcastle disease, known locally as ranikhet.
Newcastle disease is a worldwide problem among birds and sporadic outbreaks can occur frequently. Affected birds suffer from loss of appetite, coughing, sneezing, diarrhoea, and in severe outbreaks a high proportion die.
The wildlife ministry said it was supplying fresh water to peacocks in affected areas. SAMAA