At least 40 cattle have died in a week after consuming toxic wild plants in flood-affected Majuli district of Assam, an official said on Friday. Cattle of several farmers in three sand bars ate a shrub, 'lantana camara', which is locally known as 'goo phool' plant, Majuli District Veterinary Officer (In-Charge) Dr Thaneswar Mudoi said.
While some of the animals died at their owners' place, carcasses of others were found on roads and jungles.
"We have found that a total of 40 cattle of around two years of age have died after consuming the plant in three sand bars under Ahatguri gaon panchayat," Mudoi said.
"A few cattle die in this way in Majuli after flood every year, but their number is quite high this time," he said.
A five-member team which included Mudoi has been formed to further investigate the matter.
After consuming the toxic plant, "the cattle became icteric (affected by jaundice), had severe diarrhoea and excreted soft black faeces. The symptoms were developed over a period of one week before dying," the veterinary officer said.
Consuming 'Lantana camara' may cause liver damage to cows, sheep, horses and goats, sources said.