ECONOMYENEXT – Sri Lanka Police Mounted division has lost seven horses due to feed shortage, a police official said, amid import bans.
One horse has died from internal injuries that was caused due to lack of feed, while the other horses were suffering from various illnesses amid lower nutrition level, Police Media Spokesman Nihal Thalduwa told EconomyNext.
“The deaths occurred in February, April, October and November,” he said.
Each horse under the mounted division is worth around 35,000 US dollars and currently there are around 50 horses that are being maintained, he said.
“According to the doctor’s report, only one horse has died because of internal injuries occurred due to lack of feed,”
Sri Lanka has banned many imports including processed animal feed and raw materials for feeds due to a forex shortage that later turned into an economic and political crisis.
The local production of feed was further affected by the import ban on fertilizer, resulting in a drop in agricultural products.
After the rupee collapsed in early 2022, animal feed importers have been struggling. The ban was later lifted partially.
The import ban led commercial banks to refuse to open letters of credit. The available foreign reserves were allocated to import fuel and medicine to the country.
“According to the reports, other horses have been suffering from illnesses which caused the deaths,” Thalduwa said.
However, the Police-Mounted division will be investigating what causes the illnesses, he said.
“They are going to do some research because all the horses are from Europe or Australia and they need to find out what are the reasons for the deaths of the horses. Sometimes European horses tend to be ill with the climate change,” Thalduwa said.
“And May be because these horses fell ill, they may have reduced the amount of food they take,” he said.
However, the division has said an in-depth investigation will be carried out to identify the reasons.
According to Thalduwa, even though there is a medicine shortage in the country, there is enough medicine for horses and doctors are also available in the division. (Colombo/ Dec06/2022)