Hundreds of cattle succumb to winter's cold

By Viet An   January 29, 2024 | 02:17 am PT
Hundreds of cattle succumb to winter's cold
People in Ha Giang Province in the northern highlands feed their buffalos outdoors when temperatures rise to 12 degrees Celsius, January 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Chieu
270 cattle from mountainous localities in northern and north-central Vietnam succumbed to the severe cold wave last week, according to the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention.

Most of the dead cattle, in Dien Bien, Son La, Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Lang Son and Nghe An provinces, were buffalos, oxen, horses and pigs.

Lang Son saw the highest number of dead cattle - 123. A representative of the Lang Son Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said before the cold wave arrived, officials had instructed people to reinforce their barns, keep the animals warm and store food for them.

However, over the past week, temperatures in Lang Son fell to 4-7 degrees Celsius, with the peak of Mau Son recording the lowest temperatures at minus 2.9 degrees, ice and frost present for four days. Cattle did not have enough food, while some barns were not properly reinforced and some families still let their cattle roam outside.

For those who lost their cattle, the agriculture department would consider to provide support for them.

In the previous winter of 2021-2022, over 1,000 cattle had died of the cold in Lang Son.

In Nghe An, around 40 buffalos and oxen died during the cold wave between Jan. 23 and 28, mostly in Ky Son and Que Phong districts at the border. Tri Le Commune in Que Phong in particular saw 11 cattle dying.

Vi Van Cuong, chairman of Tri Le, said most of the dead cattle were weak and could not withstand the cold.

Que Phong currently has over 36,750 buffalos and oxen. In the winter of 2022-2023, over 1,000 cattle in the district had died to the elements, resulting in a loss of tens of billions of Vietnamese dong (VND10 billion = US$407,500). This year, the local agricultural service station had checked areas for the storage of straws, grasses and the reinforcement of barns.

Northern Vietnam had gone through six days of severe cold, where average daytime temperatures were below 13 degrees. There were four consecutive days when all 25 northern Vietnam localities recorded temperatures below 10 degrees.

Starting Tuesday, temperatures in the region should gradually rise, save for some mountainous areas which would remain cold for the next 2-3 days.

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