Chemical Runoff Suspected in Cow Deaths
Chemical runoff from factories is suspected to be the cause of the recent deaths of over 40 cows in a village in Xaysettha District, Vientiane Capital.
Authorities are investigating the livestock deaths, and all nearby factories will be inspected for release of chemicals into water sources. Factories found to have released contaminants will be made to pay compensation to farmers who lost their livestock.
The deaths of the 41 cows comes in addition to 81 cattle that died last month in villages in the same district.
As the industrial sector develops in Laos, animal deaths are fast becoming a serious issue. Herbicides and pesticides used on plantation fields are one source of contaminants, with factories releasing chemical runoff causes further contamination of water sources.
A report published in January by Lao Upland Rural Advisory Service (LURAS) demonstrated that the use of pesticides in Xieng Khouang Province has led to traces of contaminants in the blood of 96 percent of residents in the province.