Cattle, livestock face starvation after Pakistan's floods wipe out feed supply


Faced with a shortage of fodder due to floods, cattle farmers in villages in Pakistan’s Sindh province said on Monday that they were struggling to keep their remaining livestock alive.

The catastrophic floods have submerged huge swathes of Pakistan and damaged crops that were used as feed for their cattle.

Officials estimate about 700,000 cattle have been lost in the floods nationwide, and the rest, which forms a critical asset in a poor country, were growing thin for lack of food.

The situation could worsen as weather officials warned of more rain in the next few days.

Farmer Zameer Khan in Tando Allahyar in Sindh, one of the worst-affected areas, said any fodder left has turned black from water damage.

“It will not be given to cattle. As a result, the animals will remain hungry and eventually die,” he said. 

The damaged grass will instead be used for the packing of eggs and apples, he added.

Government officials were trying to help farmers facing a fodder shortage in the last couple of weeks in Sindh province, however, a military official said airdropping supplies from the army and navy helicopters would be difficult.

Record monsoon rains in the south and southwest Pakistan and glacial melt in northern areas triggered the flooding that has affected nearly 33 million people and killed over 1500 in the South Asian nation of 220 million, sweeping away homes, crops, bridges, roads and livestock and causing an estimated $30 billion of damage.