G.Bat-Ireedui: Arkhangai province was the leader by the rate of the livestock congenital deformations

2020-10-12 10:41:34

An inspection was conducted to review the impacts to human and livestock health and environment from the activity of the license holder Badrakh Energy company in Ulaanbadrakh soum, Dornogovi province by the joint group of Secretariat of Government, MET, NEA, GASI, Veterinary Clinic, MRPAM and GIA. Above authorities communicated via a press conference that there was no radiation contamination or hazard and livestock deformities in Dornogovi aimag according to inspection results. However, the question by a journalist who asked several times whether there existed a comparative study based on the livestock deformities and health data of aimags, could not be definitively answered. Thus, we interviewed G.Bat-Ireedui, Veterinary of Joint Cooperative of Veterinary Clinics which is a major professional organization of veterinary sector.

Last week, several state authorities have concluded that there was no contamination, hazard and livestock deformities due to radiation in Dornogovi province and some movements of civil society expressed their disagreement. Does your organization have a study conducted on this matter?

- We conducted exactly the same study in a perimeter of 50 km around Sainshand, Ulaanbadrakh and Khuvsgul soum in 2014. It is entitled “Livestock health study and current situation assessment”. The method that we used for our study at the time was same as the recent one performed by state authorities. There is actually no other way because it requires using the same method following incident occurred at the area, study purpose and expected results. Rather, we identified the concentrations of elements in minerals taken by the livestock around Ulaanbadrakh soum. When doing so, we purchased herds from nearby families and identified it by comparing on 6 elements. The recent state delegates did not do that. The study involved approximately 20 families so that their livestock was studied for one month starting from the very first livestock health check. It became a quite good job because the indicators and results of each family’s livestock were analyzed separately. The experts, professors and research workers involved in our study aimed to reach independent and valid results in a professional way as much as possible. The study report was later granted to the families along with the detailed explanations on all results from the study and analysis pertaining to the samples and livestock formation via figures and graphs.

- Was there any result which indicated an effect to livestock health due to uranium?

- Soum’s veterinary section had recorded 64 livestock related incidents at the area which was given to our research organization. This number has risen to 80 as of today. After that our researchers and professors studied each reported incident and concluded that there was zero uranium related impact and all incidents were normal livestock deformities.

- According to how the General Veterinary Agency responded to the journalist’s question at the recent press conference, there is no study yet done by comparing aimags on livestock deformities at our state authorities. But, you say that your organization has done it. Could you give us more information?

- Our organization possesses the largest network which unites the private veterinary clinics. We conducted this study by questionnaire in spring 2019 based on the data owned by approximately 2500 veterinarians of 1067 organizations present in each Mongolian aimag. We then studied each incident occurred over the last 3 years according to the results of which the highest frequency of livestock deformities was recorded in Arkhangai and Tuv  aimags in other words 34 respective cases were registered. There is a tendency to occur more incidents in western aimags. We showed it by photos and reflected in our study report that the number of livestock deformities including the frequently talked several legged or two headed herds is higher in western aimags compared to other areas. Although the plants are abundant in western aimags, there were several causes such as the lack of minerals in certain areas. If we see a general mapping, the western part of Mongolia represents various livestock diseases. In contrary, eastern aimags mostly present a minerals excess. Dornogovi aimag was ranked at 11th place compared to other aimags in terms of the frequency of livestock deformities.

- Why there is no information among public about the deformities in western aimags and a sensation related to few areas such as Ulaanbadrakh soum of Dornogovi is only spread instead?

- I tell you one example that was observed from our herders’ life during numerous studies performed by our veterinarians and researchers. Herders hide when they have deformities in their livestock which is the main source of their livelihood. They wish to protect their reputation. They then destroy it themselves without letting others know about the incident since others do not appreciate such incident too.

- How could you record and confirm such incident if herders do hide it then?

- There is no way that our veterinarians record all incidents. Instead, they record the deformities that occurred when the herders made a call because their herds have troubles to deliver birth and get clinical assistance. 2500 veterinarians of our joint cooperative are relatively well experienced and have good knowledge as they get involved in herders’ everyday life with all goods and bads. We collect data together with them. There is no need to doubt in the results of a study which was performed by acknowledged researchers and professors of veterinary sector.

- Just now at the press conference a certain NGO brought a goat from Ulaanbadrakh soum, slaughtered it in front of the public and showed the innards. The lungs were covered in pus. There were small hard furuncles. They call it cancer. Do your veterinarians and researchers include in their report such kind of exceptional incident with details?

- It is detailed in our study report. The lung disease is due to dust. For example, there are numerous herds with lung diseases due to the dust in certain soums of Umnugovi aimag. The veterinarians of Umnugovi’s soums say that it is proven when seeing the innards of camels and cows.

- The General Veterinary Agency informed that there was not study conducted by aimag in terms of livestock deformities. However, you have a ready to use study. Why didn’t you communicate this report to public?

- I think, before we have a Law on the Livestock Health in 2018, there was a lack of an efficient system to collect data. Now, a general registration system is being implemented following the recent law. This is a progress. We so have decided to deliver these studies to relevant state authorities.