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Reindeer crisis in Yamalo-Nenets as number of deaths rise

By The Siberian Times reporter
23 May 2018

‘Thousands’ perish amid calls for a state of emergency in the region, with fears anthrax vaccine is a cause of death.

‘The deer have lost weight, pulmonary and heart diseases have started, they can not get food.' Picture: Pravda UrFO

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES!

Herders and activists are demanding action from the authorities who for now are resisting claims that there is a reindeer crisis. 

One problem is weather conditions which have led to an ice crust about snow, preventing the deer from foraging for grass. 

Herders Georgy Khudi said: 'The cause of death is ice and 1.5 m of snow underneath it.

‘The deer have lost weight, pulmonary and heart diseases have started, they can not get food.

reindeer corpse


reindeer corpse


reindeer corpse reindeer corpse

There seems no precise estimate - except that the number runs into the thousands. Picture: Voice of Tundra

‘1,200 animals of 1,500 in my herd have perished.’ 

He said: ‘I know about seven families where the animals have died. The exact number I cannot say.’

Indeed, there seems no precise estimate - except that the number runs into the thousands. 

Some herders claim anthrax vaccines have led to animals dying out. 

Mass vaccinations have been carried out from March one more than 650,000 animals to prevent a rerun of a mass outbreak of the deadly disease that was seen when some 70,000 died in one year.

Eyko Serotetto

Eyko Serotetto wrote an open letter to then governor Dmitry Kobylkin. Picture: Eyko Serotetto

Another herder Alisa Yaptik complained: 'Even the most hardy and healthy die when they vaccinate in the spring... 

‘This is when the deer need strength to get food from under the snow, to go  400 kilometres to summer pastures, instead, they must adapt and fight with their body... 

‘After vaccinations, the deer lie for almost a week, do not eat, and for this time the organism is depleted’.

This is a cause of the ‘mass deaths’, she said. 

‘They just do not have enough strength to adapt to the vaccinations.' 

Mass reindeer deaths if no early warning system for 'climate change' freak freezes  


Mass reindeer deaths if no early warning system for 'climate change' freak freezes  


Mass reindeer deaths if no early warning system for 'climate change' freak freezes  

‘The root of the problem is that we have the twice the number of deer for pastures where they can eat.’ Picture: The Siberian Times

Nenets activist Eyko Serotetto wrote an open letter to then governor Dmitry Kobylkin - recently appointed by Vladimir Putin as Minister of Natural Resources - demanding a state of emergency 'in connection with the large-scale case of reindeer dying out’.

Veterinary service chief Andrey Listishenko said there are always seasonal problems in spring and the situation is not currently a ‘disaster’.

He denied that vaccination can negatively impact on reindeer health. 

'We have already vaccinated 82% of deer,’ he said.

‘Local people understand the danger, but there will always be those who will not like it for one reason or another, due to ignorance or political interest.’

He alluded to the size of the region - which twice as large as Germany - with some 700,000 reindeer ‘which must be found and vaccinated’.

‘The root of the problem is that we have the twice the number of deer for pastures where they can eat.’

Serotetto has called on the authorities to assist in disposing of the reindeer corpses which can become a source of disease. 

Nenets activist Eyko Serotetto showes dead reindeer and ice crust. 

Comments (1)

A falta de pastagens e cuidados veterinários parece ser a raiz do problema. É uma pena que essas pessoas tão sofridas em uma região tão fria fiquem prejudicadas,tendo dificuldades para sustentar suas famílias devido a morte de milhares de seus animais. O governo local precisa fazer um plano de ajuda econômica para diminuir as dificuldades financeiras dessas pessoas.É um direito deles viver dignamente!
Natercio Inacio da Silva, Guaratuba - Pr. Brazil
03/07/2018 05:53
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