"The death of dozens of cattle was caused by a lack of animal feed in the district," Head of East Sumba district, Gideon Mbilijora, told ANTARA on Monday.
However, Mbilijora mentioned that the number of dead cattle is not more than a hundred.
"We are still checking to find out the exact number of dead cattle based on reports from farmers," he said.
He argued that East Sumba -- one of the largest livestock barns in East Nusa Tenggara province -- was unable to meet the needs of animal feed this year due to an unpredictable rainy season, which caused the grass in the field to become parched.
Mbilijora further said that cows and buffaloes can survive by consuming leaves. However, horses only rely on grass, so most of them have died of starvation.
He said the area with the most dead horses in the district was Hambapraing, a village in the East of Sumba island which is famous for its horse ranches.
Responding to the situation, the East Sumba district government continues to encourage farmers to ferment and grow the animal feed themselves.
Such effort needs to be made in order to ensure the availability of animal feed, especially during the dry season, Mbilijora said. (INE)
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