Sectoral Emergency for Dying Livestock

The government declared a “sectoral emergency” due to the death of thousands of cattle and announced a special program aimed at reviving the lost herds, as this is one of the most important parts of the agricultural economy.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Jacobo Regalado, said the government is aware of the impact of the death of thousands of heads of livestock, especially in the departments of Olancho, El Paraíso and Francisco Morazán, where climate change has caused an intense summer.

Fortunately, in the departments of Francisco Morazán and El Paraíso it has started to rain, but not in the department of Olancho, where it is generating huge losses in the herds.

Regalado said that officially there is no exact number of dead animals, but preliminary reports from Olancho outline that more than ten thousand cows have died.

“The losses are not only the dead animals, but the lack of productivity of the cattle, whose bodies lack the conditions to produce milk and meat,” he said.

The minister said he is preparing a special program to reactivate the affected herds, but did not specify details.

“We will promote a program that allows us to quickly revive the livestock sector,” he said.

The emergency declared by the government “is not national, but is a timely emergency in these parts of Honduras: Olancho, Francisco Morazán and El Paraíso” said Regalado, who also acknowledged that there have been problems in most of the country.

“The impact summer has had in some areas of livestock production has been quite significant.”

Initially it was thought a disease was affecting livestock, and therefore the deaths, but it was determined to be starvation by a lack of water and food.

“The situation has been hard for the producers; we are aware of that and are doing our best to help them,” he said.

In Honduras it is estimated that there are roughly 2.8 million head of cattle, well below the four million there were fifteen years ago.

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