Bengaluru: About 50 goats and sheep have been kept in isolation at a village in Tumakuru district after a shepherd tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday.

The villagers panicked when they noticed that some goats and sheep at Godekere village in Gollarahatti taluk were having respiratory problems, an officer in the animal husbandry department of the district said.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the officer told PTI: "A few of the animals whom the shepherd had reared developed respiratory problems. Now that there is corona scare everywhere, people are afraid that the animals too have contracted the disease."

The villagers then sought the help of Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy, who is the Tumkuru district in-charge minister, and the Deputy Commissioner of the district K Rakesh Kumar to get the matter investigated.

The minister directed the animal husbandry department to probe the matter following which department officials rushed to the village and collected samples.

Veterinary experts suspect that the animals are suffering from Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), also known as goat plague, and mycoplasma infection.

The officer said the samples collected from the animals have been sent to the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals and veterinary laboratory in Bhopal.

According to him, the prevalence of COVID-19 has not been recorded in goats and sheep.

The animals have been quarantined because PPR and mycoplasma too are communicable diseases and can spread to other animals, he added.

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Raipur: The Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday decided to procure cow dung at Rs 2 per kilogram from cattle rearers as part of its 'Gaudhan Nyay Yojana' which will be launched on July 20, coinciding with local Hareli festival, an official said.

The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel here on Tuesday, a government spokesperson said.

The scheme is meant for large scale production of vermicompost in gauthans (dedicated land in villages where cattle are housed) set up under the ambitious 'Narva, Garua, Ghurua aur Bari' scheme of the state government, he said.

"Earlier, a cabinet sub-committee had recommended buying cow dung at Rs 1.50 per kg but the cabinet has fixed the procurement rate at Rs 2 per kg, including transport cost," he said.

The state government has sanctioned construction of nearly 5300 gauthans so far, out of which 2,408 in rural areas and 377 in urban areas have been set up, he said.

In these gauthans, cow and buffalo dung will be procured from cattle owners through gauthan committees and will be utilized for making vermicompost and other products, he added.

The scheme will be launched on Hareli festival, which is celebrated to mark the start of agricultural activities.

The cabinet also approved selling of vermicompost produced under the scheme through cooperative societies to farmers at the rate of Rs 8 per kg, he said.

The cabinet also approved a plan to distribute 5 kg rice per person each month from July to November on ration cards (except for APL category) issued under the Chhattisgarh Food Security Act, in the same way as it is being provided on ration cards under National Food Security Act, he said.

"Likewise, one kg of a gram will be given per month during the same period to ration card holders (except for APL category)under Chhattisgarh Food Security Act," he said.

Besides, the cabinet approved to merge the remaining batch of teachers working under panchayat and urban body departments, who have completed a service period of two years or more, with the school education department from November 1.

The move will benefit 16,278 teachers, he added.

The cabinet also decided to constitute the Indravati Basin Development Authority for development of Indravati river valley in south Chhattisgarh, he said.

The decision to discontinue the Chhattisgarh State Law Commission was also taken in the meeting, he said.