"The department deeply regretted the unforeseen misfortune that has befallen the dairy farmers. However, the farmers should not worry as the department has requested higher authority to give new cows those who have lost theirs," the animal husbandry veterinary and department said on Saturday.
More than 80 dairy cows imported from Haryana and Punjab for beneficiaries of the state's flagship New Land Use Policy opting for dairy farming have died while in transit and after arrival.
The veterinary officials, who confirmed that some of the imported cows were infected with foot-and-mouth disease virus, later denied that the FMD did not cause the cows' death.
Worried by the mounting criticisms against the imported cows, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla had convened the meeting of veterinary officials, senior Cabinet ministers, NLUP implementing department officials at his office on Thursday afternoon seeking solution to the problem.
The veterinarians have been closely watching the FMD-infected cows and the cows have now recovered. As the hybrid cows require special kind of treatment failing which they easily fall prey to diseases, the vets are also giving training to the beneficiaries.
With an objective to bring about a white revolution, the AH and veterinary department had looked for high milk-producing cows all over India.
With much difficulty, the department imported the cows from Haryana and Punjab after they were certified by the state's veterinarians.
However, the 2500 kilometres long journey that took two weeks, coupled with the heat, weakened the cows and also made them susceptible to disease, the statement said.
The state government had ordered 1,896 cows from Ludhiana (Punjab) and Karnal (Haryana) for 948 families, who opted for cattle rearing under the NLUP.
As many as 86 cows have died, 43 during transit, 16 at transit camp and 27 after they were distributed to the beneficiaries.
In the wake of the detection of FMD, the government put a brake on the import of cows and subjected those cows on the way to quarantine.
The officials said that the cows in quarantine have recovered and have been distributed to the beneficiaries.